EN: I / me - predicate pronoun

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by DOM78, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. DOM78

    DOM78 Senior Member

    Plaisir, near Versailles
    France ; français
    Morning everyone !

    In the film "The Rope" I heard the sentence :
    "What would you do if you were I ?"

    Why not ".... if you were me" ?

    I know 'I' is subject and 'me' pronoun but may be I'm wrong and me can also be subject ? In this case how do we know which is to be used ?:(

    Who can help ?
    Thanks !

    Moderator note: Multiple threads have been merged to create this one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2010
  2. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    "If you were I" is grammatically correct, but sounds very stilted and pedantic.
    The most common / normal way is to say "If you were me"
  3. lilmissgroupie New Member

    Hello everyone !!

    I would like to know in which cases I should use I rather than Me?
    For example in which case should I say "it is I" instead of "It is me"?
    Is there a rule?

    Thank you so much for helping me with this tricky question!
  4. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Welcome, Lilmissgroupie! :)

    I is a subject pronoun.
    Me is an object pronoun.

    Who is there?
    --> I am there. I am.
    --> It is I who am there. It is I.

    That said, the last two options are extremely rare in modern spoken English. They sound strangely formal. 99.9% of the time, people will just say "I am" or "It's me!"... even though saying "it's me" this is not technically grammatically correct. This usage is so common (at least in American English) that it does not sound in any way uneducated, and only grammatical purists object.

    Does he want to speak to/with someone?
    --> Yes, he wants to speak to/with me. Yes, to/with me. Yes, me.
    --> It is to/with me that he wants to speak. It is me to/with whom he wishes to speak.

    Again, the last two options are stiltedly formal. People will just answer with one of the first three options.
  5. coligarus Member

    Santa Clara-CA
    français France
    Hi everyone,
    I know... it's very easy to decide whether I or me is the correct word
    to use in a sentence.
    However I have a doubt in the following example which is an overview
    of the action to take in an handover email

    Who: I (or me?)

    What:Contact the customer in order to ....

    When: tomorrow @ ....

    Since "who" is the subject of "what"
    I would write "I" but "me" sounds good to me.
    thank you in advance for your answers.
  6. Paul Hisson Senior Member

    Udon Thani - Thailand
    French - France
    En réponse à "Who:" sur un formulaire, j'utiliserais plutôt "me". D'ailleurs, on a parfois "Who? Me?" en forme interrogative à l'oral.
  7. jkos Member

    American English
    Il faut "me."

    I can't tell you the exact rule why, except to say that this is the only thing a native speaker would ever do. If you wrote "I," people would find it very strange indeed.
  8. coligarus Member

    Santa Clara-CA
    français France
    Thank you jkos and PH !!!
  9. Suze E New Member

    English - USA
    À Paul:

    Explaining your example: "Who ? Me ?"

    Here the 'Me' is short for "Are you talking to/about me ? [ object of the preposition 'to' / 'about' ]

    À Coligarus: Please elaborate on "Since 'who' is the subject of 'what'..." What do you mean by this ?

    If it were I filling in the blank after "Who" in this example:


    Who: I (or me?)"

    I would write my first name only, unless there were more than one person with that name. If that were the case, I could add my last name -- or at least its first letter, followed by a period.
  10. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    In speech, I find I awkward except as the subject of a first person singular verb present in the sentence (like je). But it is also natural, especially in writing, to use "and I" at the end of a compound subject with a plural verb (e.g. John and I are coming with you).

    Some native speakers find it natural to use I as the subject of an omitted verb after than or as (e.g. He loves her more than I), but others consider than to be a preposition in spite of the ambiguity (e.g. He loves her more than me where what is meant is ... more than I do).

    Some native speakers also use "and I" at the end of a compound object, but most others see this as "overcorrection".

    "It is I" with no verb following is usable but is generally seen as old fashioned (= "'Tis I"). "It might be I" with no verb following and "... if you were I" sound frankly obsolete.
  11. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member


    I've heard a song in which the singer says In you and I, there's a new land.

    I guess it's not the same as You and I do etc... , as I isn't the subject here.

    So, why use I here ? :confused: Is it seen as overcorrection, as you said above ?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  12. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    If that's the complete sentence, then yes, it's overcorrection. It should be "In you and me..."
  13. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

    Okay, thank you :)
  14. philouf New Member

    I have another question related to this grammar question :

    At the beginning of a conference call, if I am the meeting chairperson, how can I introduce people who are connected ? :
    My try : On the bridge, Paul and John for CompanyX, Peter and Carl for Company Y, Andrew and I (me?) for CompanyZ
    I think I have to say "I" because it's an enumeration. Am I right ?
    Beyond this grammar question, is this sentence correct to introduce people connected to the conference call ?
  15. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hello philouf, you can say either.
    "Andrew and I" is the more formal, so maybe more appropriate in your context.
    "Andrew and me" is less formal, but could still be appropriate, especially if you want to sound friendly and approachable, and if the people know each other.
    "Me" here is the "emphatic" or "disjunctive" or "stressed" personal pronoun, as in "Who's that in the picture? It's me". (No-one would say "it's I").
    Your sentence is fine, but you may not need "company" if all the people involved know they are the names of companies.

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