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Prose Parade
Grammar and writing basics

Me, Myself and I, Part 1

Pronouns are not simple. One reason they aren’t is because they’re the only words in English that have case endings, and not only case endings, but they’re also irregular. The one we’ll deal with now is “I.”

“I,” if you care, is the nominative case. This means that “I” is the subject of a sentence. It’s also a predicate nominative, which means it comes after the verb, but the verb has to be a form of the verb “to be.” To put it more simply, there are only two uses for the word “I.”

For example, “I came. I saw. I conquered.” (with many thanks to Julius Caesar) See, it’s the subject of the sentence.

An example of a predicate nominative is: “It is I.” Yes, I know we say “me,” but that’s wrong except in casual conversation. Then, who cares. Everyone gets the meaning.

OK, if “I” can only be the subject or predicate nominative, then why do I see any of the following:

“Me and my friend was going to the movies.”
“Keep this strictly between you and I.”
“Myself and John wrote the report.”

Holy smoke, people. What happened to our language?

For the record:

“My friend and I were going to the movies.”
“Keep this strictly between you and me.”
John and I wrote the report.”

« Refer/Refer Back – Me, Myself and I, Part 2 »

May 23, 2009 um 2:04 pm
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