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I vs me

We use both I and me when talking about ourselves: I when we are the subject of a sentence, me when we are the object a verb refers to.

  • I am buying a car. → We are the subject doing something.
  • The party was organized by me. → We are the object the verb refers to.

When we add another person to the mix, those rules seemingly go out the window for many people. When talking about us and another person, we generally name the other person first. We are listed after them, as either and I or and me.

It is all too common for people to overuse (and misuse) and I. The choice between the options follows the same rule as before. Adding more people to the sentence does not change that.

  • My wife and I are buying a car. → We are still the subject.
  • The party was organized by Matilda and me. → The verb still refers to us.

The quickest way to find out whether a sentence requires and I or and me is to remove the other people. You wouldn’t say “me am buying a car” or “the party was organized by I”. Once you know that, adding the other people back in won’t change your choice of I or me.

If you only think about yourself, choosing between and I or and me becomes much easier. Sometimes being selfish pays off.

In some sentences, both I or me would work, but the choice drastically changes their meaning:

  • He likes food more than I. → He likes food more than I like food.
  • He likes food more than me. → He likes food more than he likes me.

All lessons in this course

1

An actual video

Two words can look like translations of each other even if they aren’t. The word “actual” is our first venture into this category of false friends.

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2

Making a photo

Even if you translate each individual word in a sentence correctly, the resulting translation can still be off.

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3

What for a picture

Not every word in a sentence needs to appear in its translation. Languages don’t map to each other one-to-one.

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4

Or?

You can spot Germans by the fact that they use “or” to ask questions. Unfortunately, the word doesn’t work that way in English.

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5

Hello together

This mistranslation gave this course its name. “Together” refers to doing something with others. Here’s how to greet a group of people instead.

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6

Handy

What do you call a phone you can hold in your hand? Well, it’s not this. If you call it a handy, you’re in for some awkward looks.

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7

Becoming a car

“Bekommen” and “to become” are another pair of false friends. If you want something, make sure you’re not accidentally turning yourself into that thing.

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8

Less vs fewer

Is it “less mistakes” or “fewer mistakes”? They both seem to say that something is not as much as it was before, but only one is grammatically correct.

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9

Eventually

False friends are everywhere. Eventually is very similar to the German “eventuell”, but it means something completely different.

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10

Whom

Why isn’t it “Whom let the dogs out”? The extra letter does not turn a regular “who” into a fancy version of itself.

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11

Apostrophes

When coming from a language that doesn’t normally use them, where to put apostrophes can seem confusing.

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I vs me

Was an event organized by “Nina and I” or “Nina and me”? To find which one applies, take the other person out of the sentence for a second.

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13

Good vs well

You’re doing well, Superman is doing good. This lesson looks at the rules behind which of these two is correct in a given situation.

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14

Looking forward

When you’re excited about something, tell others what that thing is. On its own, you’re only saying half an expression otherwise.

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15

Gender-neutral pronouns

When you don’t know someone’s preferred pronouns, you can use they/them even when speaking about an individual person and not a group.

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16

Please

We have been taught to always say please and thank you. Whether they are right for a situation depends on the context.

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17

Each other

Some actions happen to multiple people at once, like running into someone. In these situations, we need to use reciprocal pronouns.

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18

Do

Other languages don’t always use the auxillary “do” as much as the English language does, so it’s often lost in translation.

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