This morning I was reading some frequently asked questions about grammar when I found this little gem relating to the subject pronoun. The question asked; Is it “Me and Chris” or “Chris and I”?
Well, the answer lies in what you and Chris are doing and the overall sentence wording. Either can be correct depending on the rest of the sentence and how it is arranged.
Reading on, I discovered that the rest of the sentence read, “...are on the way to work”. As a result, I could tell which of the two pronouns should be used.
Let’s forget about Chris for a minute
An easy way to work out which is correct is to lose Chris and change the subject from plural (you and Chris) to singular (just you). How would you say that you’re on your way to work if you are alone?
When you try out the sentence using the pronoun “Me” as a lone traveller, it becomes clear that it’s wrong. Even in a continually evolving language, the best indication that a sentence is grammatically incorrect is that it just doesn’t sound right. How it sounds is key and, “Me is on the way to work”, won’t sound right to anyone. In the same instance, most people would correctly say, “I am on the way to work”. So it’s easy to determine that in this sentence, “I” rather than “Me” is the correct subject pronoun.
Now, we can bring Chris back in and the sentence becomes, “Chris and I are on the way to work”.
The moral of this story, perhaps, is that while it’s always good to travel to work with a friend, a few moments alone can give a clearer view of the road ahead.
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*Based on an original question published in Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary