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Me or I

Me or I illustration: explaining when to use me or I through an example with owners of a cottage lending a bike to Nicky and me, and Nicky and I then cycling to a beach down a winding road.

In a list of names, when should you use "I", and when should you use "Me"?

I confess to having blundered my way through whether it should be Rob, Tom, and I on the podcast, or a podcast with Rob, Tom and me. In other words, in a list of names, of which I am one, should I be using "I" or should I be using "Me"?

A general rule to help you know which to use when is to remember that if an action is being done to or for you, then use "me." Here, you're the object of the sentence. If it's you doing the action, then use "I." In this case, you're the subject of the sentence.

So, in the example in the sketch, the kind owners of the cottage are lending the bike to us both—I'm not the one doing the lending but instead am receiving the bike—so it should be:

"The kind owners lent a bike to Nicky and me."

Conversely, when we cycle off, it's both of us doing the cycling, so here it should be:

"Nicky and I cycled to the beach."

To be sure you're nailing it, try removing other names from the list. Often, it makes it obvious which to use. For example, when phrased as "The kind owners lent a bike to I," and "Me cycled to the beach," it's pretty straightforward which is right or wrong.

Also see: Affect effectless fewertandemby monkeysOxford commas


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