One of the first words you learn in English is "I" because you use this pronoun to talk about yourself. This word is always capitalized:

  • I am a teacher.
  • After class ended, I went home.
  • Where can I get some coffee?

Pay attention to the placement of this pronoun when there’s another subject in a sentence:

  • You and I like to study English.
  • He and I attend the same school.
  • Mary and I went to a movie together.

Notice that the pronoun "I" goes after the first noun or pronoun if it’s part of a compound subject. (A compound subject has two nouns, two pronouns, or a combination of each.)

Sometimes the pronoun "I" is used incorrectly:

  • This is between you and I.

Whoops! That’s not correct. When a pronoun follows a preposition, it should be in the objective case. That’s a rule of grammar.

  • This is between you and me.
  • Helen brought some coffee for me.
  • There’s a big truck behind me.

The prepositions (between, for, and behind) in each of the sentences above are followed by the object pronoun, me.

One more thing about the pronoun, I. Some Americans intentionally don’t use it because they think it’s funny to use the object pronoun instead:

  • Me want more coffee.
  • Me hungry.
  • Me no like.

If you ever hear this, it’s wrong. Why do some people say it? It’s merely a playful form of expression. People who do this are just goofing around.

You can find additional instruction for the pronoun "I" on this page.


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This page was first published on September 14, 2012. It was updated on September 10, 2015.