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Don’t be afraid of ‘me’ (Part 1)

Sometimes you have to proceed with caution when copying native speakers.

For instance, native speakers of English are becoming more and more muddled about how to use I and me.

Please don’t let them lead you up the garden path (mislead).

Saying: Me and my friend went to a movie in a casual situation is fine, as long as you know that it should be: My friend and I went to a movie.

Perhaps because we got corrected as children for that me slip of the tongue, some native speakers have transferred a fear of me to the wrong places.

We now hear: The CEO invited my colleague and I to a meeting.

Oops. Wrong.

Even if you’ve forgotten about subjects and objects – which native speakers often don’t learn at school – there’s a quick check to test which one fits.

If you can change to we, then stick to I in the singular:

We had a meeting.

My colleague and I had a meeting.

But if you can change to us, then use me in the singular:

The CEO invited us to the meeting.
The CEO invited my colleague and
me to the meeting.

The new colleague gave us a hand with the project.
The new colleague gave John and
me a hand with the project.

One of our clients sent us a big box of chocolates.
One of our clients sent John and
me a big box of chocolates.

So be brave and use me when it’s needed.

And one more thing: it’s a client of mine, not a client of me.

The next common confusion we’ll tackle is overusing myself.

Meantime, some other explanations are here, here and here.

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© Christina Wielgolawski