Pat from Australia asked: Which of the sentences below is correct and why?
This is a part of a bigger question that troubles both learners and native speakers of English: when to use I and when to use me.
The difference between I and me
Both I and me are 1st person singular pronouns, which means that they are used by one person to refer to himself or herself. I is the subject pronoun, used for the one "doing" the verb, as in these examples:
Me is the object pronoun, used as the object (or receiver) of the action of the verb, as in these examples:
The confusing part
What gets confusing for many people is which form to use when there are two subjects or objects linked with and, as in these examples:
a. Jenny and me/I (?) joined the chess club.
b. Jill took Justin and me/I (?) to the shop.
In sentence a), Jenny and me/I are the subjects of the verb joined. Therefore, the subject pronoun, I, is considered correct. You will certainly hear native speakers say, “Jenny and me,” and it may be acceptable in spoken English, but most traditional grammarians and English teachers will disapprove. Don’t use it in writing.
The opposite is true for sentence b), which is the original example from above. Justin and me/I are the objects of took. Therefore me is considered correct by most grammarians and teachers, although you will hear people say, “Justin and I.” Again, don't use it in writing.
If you’re having trouble deciding which one to use in a particular sentence, here's a hint: Take out the other person, and it should be clearer. You are not likely to be tempted to say, “Me joined the chess club,” or “Jill took I to the shop.”
I hope this helps.