Some people might not know it, but I’m a grammar nazi. You might not know this because I don’t correct people (except those who have asked me to correct them). You’ll imagine my excitement (or at least extreme interest) in last Wednesday’s showing of Are you smarter than a 5th grader, when a contestant was asked this first grade grammar question:
Max talked to Darcy and … A. I
I knew she was going to say “I”, because almost everyone makes that mistake. I’ve noticed this mistake made more in Australia than in the UK, but it’s a common one nonetheless. Even the 5th grader by her side and her son made the same mistake, most likely because they hear the incorrect usage more often that they’re taught the correct one. My little gem for today is an easy way to remember when to use I and when to use me without needing to know the grammatical rules. Simple remove the third party from the sentence, and see which sounds better.
Would you say “Max talked to I” or “Max talked to me”? Now add the third party in again to get “Max talked to Darcy and me”. Conversely, consider “Max noticed Darcy and … were running late”. Would you say “Max noticed I was late” or “Max noticed me was late”? Now add the third party again to get “Max noticed Darcy and I were running late”.
Me hopes this help you.