Tip of the Week #1: And I . . . Me. No, I.

By now the grammar police have probably drilled into you that the proper way to describe, say, you and a friend taking a trip to the ice cream store is this:

“Spanky and I went to get some gelato.”

Not “me and Spanky” and not “Spanky and me.”


But go beyond that, and things can get a bit hairy.

Dorothea went to the gelato shop with Spanky and he? With Spanky and him?

Are you talking to him or me? Him or I? He or I? He or me?

You can rest assured, however, that the proper grammar is actually pretty easy to figure out in cases like these. Here is a helpful tip to make sure this never trips you up again:

When you’re struggling to figure out the correct pronoun to use in a pair, just ditch one person—and note how you’d refer to the other person on her own.

So, while you might wonder about “Dorothea went to the gelato shop with Spanky and he,” you’ll probably have no problem understanding that you’d say, “Dorothea went to the gelato shop with him.” (Not he!) Which is perfect because now we’ve figured out our grammar issue—and nobody likes a third wheel.

“Dorothea went to the gelato shop with him.”

“Dorothea went to the gelato shop with Spanky and him.”

The same rule applies when you are working with two pronouns.

De Niro/Bickle helped us out with “You talkin’ to me?” So that’s taken care of. Violent tendencies aside, the man is a paragon of grammar for our purposes.

And of course you’re already comfortable with “Are you talking to him?”

So, together it’s “Are you talking to him or me?”

Problem solved!

Questions? Send an e-mail to info@seaneverdry.com.

Follow Sea Never Dry on Twitter!

Copyright Sea Never Dry. All rights reserved.

Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.