The English language is full of grammar rules that even native speakers forget.
One aspect that even English speakers find tricky is choosing the right pronouns, especially when to use “me” vs “I.”
We see this in the commonly misused phrases John and I vs John and me. But, which of these phrases is correct?
In this article, we’ll look at how to use the phrases John and I vs John and me correctly every time.
Is It John and I or John and Me?
Both phrases—John and I and John and me—are correct, but it depends on how you use them.
The words “I” and “me” are pronouns—but they are different types of pronouns. “I” is a subject pronoun. Some other subject pronouns include “he,” “she,” “you,” "we," “it,” and “they.” "Me" is an object pronoun. The other object pronouns are “you,” “it,” “us, “him,” “her,” and “them.”
To decide which pronoun you should use, you need to determine if that pronoun is the subject of a verb or the object of a verb.
The subject in a sentence is the person or thing doing the verb. Let’s look at the following example:
- Samira enjoyed the birthday party.
Samira is the person doing the verb (enjoying), so she’s the subject of the sentence.
The object in a sentence receives the action of a verb. You can identify the object by finding the verb and then asking “what” or “whom.” In the above sentence, that's the birthday party.
Let’s look at the following sentence:
- Samira loves dancing.
The object of the sentence is dancing, because that is “what” Samira loves (verb).
So, whether you use John and me vs John and I depends on whether the two of you are the subject or the object of the sentence.
When to Use John and I
You should use John and I when the two of you are the subject of the sentence or phrase. The phrase John and I will appear before the verb.
Let’s look at a few sentences to see how this looks in practice.
- John and I went to the theme park.
- John and I are just colleagues.
- John and I sent them flowers.
In all the sentences above, John and I are the subjects carrying out the action.
Now, let’s look at an example with the wrong pronoun:
- John and me went to the theme park.
This sentence is incorrect because “me” is an object pronoun, and it is incorrectly being used as a subject.
When to Use John and Me
You should use John and me when the two of you are the object in a phrase receiving the action. The phrase John and me usually comes at the end of a sentence.
Here are some sentences to show how John and me should be used:
- The panel gave the award to John and me.
- The wedding was ruined by John and me.
- Jeremy explained the process to John and me.
In all the sentences above, John and me are the object of the sentence—they are receiving the action.
Tips for Remembering when to Use John and Me vs John and I
John and me and John and I are both grammatically correct, however, they should not be used interchangeably.
To decide which phrase is correct, remove “John and” from the sentence to see if the sentence still makes sense. For example:
- John and I went to the theme park
If we remove “John and” the sentence becomes, “I went to the theme park.” That sentence makes sense, so you know John and I is the correct phrase.
You couldn’t say “John and me went to the theme park.” because once the sentence is shortened to “Me went to the theme park,” it doesn’t make sense (unless you're the Cookie Monster).
Let’s look at how to decide if John and Me is being used correctly.
- The CEO gave a commendation to John and me.
If we removed “John and” the sentence becomes, “The CEO gave a commendation to me.” which makes sense. However, the sentence could not have been, “The CEO gave a commendation to John and I,” because “The CEO gave a commendation to I” is incorrect.
Is It Myself and John or John and I?
The phrase myself and John is incorrect and should not be used. Myself is a reflexive pronoun and should only be used when you’ve already referred to yourself in a sentence, as shown in the following sentence:
- I put up the Christmas tree myself.
A rule of thumb to determine if we can use myself and John is to remove “and John.”
Let’s look at the following sentence:
- Myself and John drove to the mountains.
If we remove “John and” from the sentence above, it becomes, “Myself drove to the mountains,” which is grammatically incorrect.
When to Use Myself and John
You should never use myself and John or John and myself. Both phrases are grammatically incorrect.
Instead, use John and me if the speaker is the object of the sentence, and use John and I if the speaker is the subject of the sentence.
Conclusion: John and I vs John and Me
The phrases John and I and John and me are both grammatically correct—you just need to be careful when you use each of them. You can use John and I to start a sentence, and when the speaker (I) is the subject of the sentence. On the other hand, John and me comes at the end of a sentence, and is used when the speaker (I) is the object of a sentence.
Even native English speakers struggle with pronouns. You might use the wrong pronoun or you might use too many, which will make your writing appear dull.
Use ProWritingAid’s grammar checker to show you where you might have used a wrong pronoun. It will also offer suggestions for the correct one. Then, use the Pronoun Checker to show you if you’re being too repetitive with your pronoun usage.