He and I versus Him and me

English teachers never have it easy. For most, indoctrinating untrained minds into the archaic forms of good grammar is a no-win scenario. Just when you think you’ve corrected one major issue, another rears its ugly head.

Take the correct usage of pronouns for instance.

Aside from the obvious issue of putting ourselves first in a sentence involving others, humanity seems to have a problem figuring out which combo of pronouns is appropriate and when.

Back in the Dark Ages when I attended school, the grammar police constantly corrected ignorant youth to use “I” instead of “me.” What they failed to explain is the usage of “I” to replace “me” only when used as a subject. Thus, “me and Sammy” went to the store, now becomes give the book to “Sammy and I.”

I cringe and wince and look around in vain for a member of the grammar police. Who are nowhere in sight. Ever.

Thus, in a nutshell: when referring to yourself as a subject ALWAYS use “I.”
If you use the pronouns he or she, you must also use “I”, not “me.” Subjects DO the action.
Sammy drives to town.
I drive to town.
Sammy and I drive to town.
He and I drive to town.

When you are not the subject, use “me.”

“Me” is used when you are receiving something: whether it be a service, item, commendation, etc. “Me” can’t DO anything; “Me” always GETS something.
My boss complimented me on a job well done.
My boss complimented my co-worker on a job well done.
My boss complimented my co-worker and me on a job well done.
My boss complimented him and me on a job well done.
If you use the pronouns him or her, you must use “me” not “I.”

So what’s the big deal beyond being grammatically correct in speech? In a global marketplace, the best communicator gets the job regardless of whether English is his first language or not.

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Posted on 2013/10/28, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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