When to use “me” in sentences

The past week has been jam-packed! We had Election Day on Wednesday, the announcement of a new Prime Minister and a new government the following day, two days of holiday, Mother’s Day on Sunday, yesterday was Teacher’s Day and today is the first day of Ramadan! Phew! Did I miss anything out?

So after a week full of events, the team at My English Matters is happy to be back with a new blog post for you.

This week’s post will answer a question we received through email. Aishah, one of our subscribers, asked us:

Can you explain when we must use the word ‘me’ in sentences? Sometimes I get confused with what the function of that word is. I hope you can help me to understand it . Thank you.

Thank you, Aishah for the question!

I completely understand how you can get confused about when to use “me” as opposed to using “I”. This is because in our national language, we just use “saya” or “aku” interchangeably to refer to ourselves.

But in English, there’s “I” and “me”. So how do we know which one to use?

Use “I” when you’re referring to yourself as the subject of the sentence.

For example:

“I like cats,” said Anisah. (In this sentence, “I” is the subject of “like cats”.)

I am going to the supermarket. (In this sentence, “I” is the subject of “going to the supermarket”.)

Wai Leng and I love eating at that restaurant. (“Wai Leng” and “I” are both the subject of “love eating at that restaurant”.)

Use “me” when you refer to yourself as the object of the sentence. The object is the receiver of the verb in the sentence.

For example:

Anisah told me that she likes cats. (“Me” is the object of “told”.)

My mother wants me to go to the supermarket. (“Me” is the object of “wants”.)

Wai Leng invited me to have lunch with her at the restaurant. (“Me” is the object of “invited”.)

To keep it simple for you, remember this – “I” is usually used before the verb in a sentence. “Me” is usually used after the verb in a sentence.

The confusing part

It gets a bit tricky when there are more than one subject or object. Take a look at these sentences.

John took Wai Leng and me to the restaurant. (“Me” is used here because it is the object for the verb “took”.)

Wai Leng and I took a taxi to the restaurant. (“I” is used here because it is the subject in the sentence. “Wai Leng” and “I” are both subjects in the sentence.)

If you’re having trouble deciding which one to use in a particular sentence, here’s a tip: Take out the other person, and it should be clearer. You wouldn’t say, “Me took a taxi to the restaurant,” or “John took I to the restaurant.”

I hope that helps!