My friend S speaks good English, so when I heard him last night say something like “Paul and me were working on it for the better part of an hour” I was a little taken aback. But then I figured he was just playing with it. Someone who understands the language as well as S would not make the mistake of switching I and Me.
But a lot of people I talk to mess it up. They replace I with the Me at random, and the Me with the I without realizing that it is technically not possible to do that. Why? Let me explain.
I and Me are both personal pronouns, and they are used wrongly especially when there is another noun in the sentence. Now I is the first person singular subject pronoun, and it refers to the person performing the action of a verb
I am going to bed.
Paul and I have worked on this.
In the second sentence, the pronoun I, together with the proper noun Paul, forms the subject of the sentence, so it has to be I rather than me. Always.
Me, on the other hand, is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person the action of the verb is being done to.
Paul gave me a lot of work to finish today.
Don’t thank me for this!
Leia bought dinner for Kelly and me.
In the first sentence, the pronoun me, together with the proper noun Paul, forms the object of the verb gave, so you need to use me rather than I. In the second and third sentences, me is obviously the object again.
Don’t think that if in a sentence the word “and” connects a noun and a pronoun, it has to always use the I. No, because the word and has nothing to with this. If you notice the second sentence of our first set here, we said “Paul and I” because both the noun Paul and the pronoun I form the subject of the sentence, people who got the work done. In the third sentence of the second set, we used “Kelly and me” and not “Kelly and I” because these form the object of the sentence, people for whom dinner has been bought. So whether you need to use I or me in a sentence will depend on whether you want it to be the subject or the object in the sentence. If it is the subject, it will always take the I, but the object will always take the Me.
Another little note: When you say “between you and I“. you are wrong because between is a preposition, and in English, a preposition must be followed by an indirect object pronoun (me) and never the direct subject pronoun (I). For example:
From : You will never hear that word from me.
To: He left the property to me
Between: This is between you and me.
With: She sat with me.
So between you and me, we have this sorted, huh?