Me, Myself, And I: Pet Peeves With Grammar

Pronoun cartoon










I’ve been wondering lately why I’m bothered by people’s incorrect use of pronouns. Perhaps many simply were not taught or obligated to memorize those few important rules, as I was.  So I will don my educator cap and share a few examples of the proper use of pronouns for those of us who could use a refresher.   

The first is the use of “me” versus “I;” and “her/him” versus “s/he.” Whenever I hear someone say, “Jamie and me went to the store,” it feels to me like they scratched their fingernails across a chalkboard.  I cringe!

Let’s take the sentence, “Jamie and me went to the store.” An easy way to test your grammar is to drop the other person and just listen to whether you would say, “I went,” or “me went.” Please don’t say, “Myself went.” You could say, “I went by myself.” But if Jamie went with you, then it’s “Jamie and I went…”



Under what circumstances would it be correct to say Jamie and me? If “you give something to Jamie and me,” then you are the subject and we are the objects. Why? The rule is that the object always follows a preposition. You don’t give something to “Jamie and I,” or “Jamie and myself.” You give something to me. Therefore, giving something “to Jamie and me” is right.

Another common error is the use of him and he, or her and she.

I often hear people say, “Her and me are going to the store.” Or worse yet, “me and her are going to the store.” Ouch! That hurts my ears!

“Her” and “me” are object pronouns, used for grammatical objects. “She” and “I” are subjects. Just as you would let an older person go through a door first, in speech you are supposed to put the other person before yourself.

So whether you go first or last, or take me with you, here’s what’s right: “You and I” are in this together! Do you think “she and he” will care to join us? “I, myself,” am not sure, but I’m going to keep trying!

Do you have a pet grammatical peeve?  
Do you know someone who might benefit from this lesson?  
Feel free to forward it on!

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18 Responses to Me, Myself, And I: Pet Peeves With Grammar

  1. Them’s good comments.

  2. Lili Ruane says:

    “Me” as the subject drives me crazy! I’m with you there! I don’t hear the other errors as often but that one gets me going everytime! just ask my girls! 🙂

  3. Toby says:

    Eileen – I feel your pain. Thank you for writing about this topic. May I also add the overuse and incorrect use of “like”?

  4. Chris says:

    Me agree completely! Separately why can’t we end a written sentence with a preposition when we all do it orally all the time? I’ve finally succumbed and end sentences with prepositions! Sorry Mr. Kenefick(my 7th grade teacher)!

  5. janet holmes says:

    “Me and my friends” ahhhhhhh!

  6. Angela Gardner says:

    It’s amazing how many people would “of” gone to the store!

  7. robin strawbridge says:

    Eileen- this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine as well! Thanks for this easy explanation. I am going to share it…

  8. eileenrockefeller says:

    I’m enjoying the vast array of comments above! Thanks Angela, and everyone else! Keep them coming!

  9. Marianne says:

    Here’s another one: “verse” instead of “versus.” How many times have you heard a millennial say that?

  10. Do you know the lyrics and song “Ain’t misbehaving…” Add it to your peeve list and dance to the song, replaying it three times!!! I think Ella Fitzgerald sings the song, Sarah Vaughn and a few other greats. UTube is free– try it out.

    My bug a boo is hearing swearing. Swears are so much a part of the dialogue in movies, songs, modern tv shows, books, and everyday conversations. I HATE SWEARS. Who is NOT guilty of using swears to convey a horrible level of frustration. I can remember one time in my life, when I
    swore to describe a vividly stupid situation a neighbor concocted. I did not disabuse myself of the accuracy of my portrayal, but said I had “SAID ENOUGH” with my foul swearing and deserved an award for playing out the situation with these x-rated, censorable words. I spoke them inside of my own house and only my husband and kids could hear them. Well, my husband and kids
    lost respect for me!!!! I am not prone to using foul language, EVER. It was forbidden in my family growing up.

    I want the medal, award, praise and recognition that I deserve for being so “on target” with my disgusting words. Smarter than I would have penned a Pulitzer, written a winning play, song, or “whatever” with my spit and vitriol…Yes… I understand why you like proper use of the English language. I love words… At this moment my favorites words are “steady” and “novena”…

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Clearly you get five gold stars for your virtuous behavior. But don’t you sometimes wish, just a little bit, to add one bad word for emphasis?! If not, I’m clearly not one for your good books, but I like the word steady, and had to look up novena! I’m praying that I’ll use good grammar and words all day! Thanks for your comment.

  11. Ginny says:

    My grammatical pet peeve is, “I graduated college.” Really? You gave “college” a diploma?

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      There is no end to the originality of people’s departures from correct grammar! But I guess it keeps us either groaning or laughing; kind of like a bad pun!

  12. John Bullard says:

    I hate it when people think that they can turn everything into a verb – as in “we were helicoptered in”. Very common today.

  13. Graham Widmer says:

    “Jaime and me went to the store” is perfectly grammatical. “Me” is used because the subject is plural. English has worked that way for centuries. Same with French.

    But not Latin. In Latin, the pronoun always depends on the case (nominative/subject, accusative/object). Schoolteachers decided English should work like Latin, so we are now taught to say “Jaime and I went to the store.”

    It’s hard to learn. We have to continually remind ourselves of the latinate Parts of Speech so that we don’t slip up. Some folks are so worried about sounding uneducated they use “I” whenever it’s part of a plural, hence “He went to the store with Jaime and I” and the other bugaboos in this post.

    Look at it this way. Adult, native English speakers do not make grammar errors. No one says “Me went to the store” because they forgot to diagram the sentence. If a lot of people consistently break your grammar rules, your rules are really the rules.

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