Using Pronouns Correctly
Trying to decide which pronoun to use can be difficult. Here is an easy way to figure out how to determine this. Remove the first noun to determine whether me or I should be used. Here is example of this trick: “Jeremy and ____ worked on the computer.” If you delete the first noun “Jeremy”, you can determine which pronoun is best. “Me worked on the computer” doesn’t make sense, but “I worked on the computer” makes sense; therefore, I would be the correct pronoun.
Sometimes choosing the correct pronoun can be difficult. Consider this sentence: “Ron and ____ left.” You either need to insert the pronoun “Ron and I left,” or “Ron and me left.” How do you choose the correct one? The correct response is I. The sentence should read, “Ron and I left.”
There is a grammatical way to come to that conclusion, but there is an easy trick to figure it out. Try removing the first noun in the sentence. If you remove “Ron” and “and”, and then read the sentence how it is now, it’s much easier to figure out which pronoun to use. We can read the sentence two ways. We can try, “I left,” or we can say “Me left.” “Me left” obviously is not grammatically correct, so the correct pronoun here must be I. That means we can plug I into the sentence and the sentence makes sense. “Ron and I left.”
Let’s look at another example. “He gave Ron and ____ a gift.” Here, do we insert the pronoun I or me? Well, let’s try the trick again and remove “Ron” and “and” from the sentence. We can try it two ways. Once by inserting the pronoun I and once by inserting the pronoun me. “He gave me a gift.” Or we could read it as, “He gave I a gift.” Here, I does not sound grammatically correct, so “me” must be the correct response because “He gave me a gift” sounds grammatically correct. Me is the correct pronoun to insert in the blank. So, the sentence now reads, “He gave Ron and me a gift.” That is the correct way to do it.
The more you get familiar with these pronouns, the easier it will be to determine which pronoun to use, but you can always use the trick of eliminating one of the nouns in the sentence to figure out which pronoun you need. Notice one more thing. In these examples, we put the pronouns second, because in this case the sentences were referring to the speaker. Say the sentences are referring to myself.
Out of respect for the other person, you should always put yourself last in the order of people. It wouldn’t be correct to say, “I and Ron left,” or, “He gave me and Ron gift.” It always is grammatically correct to put yourself after the other people in the sentence.