Friday, May 19, 2006

Grammar grade 3 (correct use of I and me)

One of the things I like best about the curriculum we use at home is that I get the grammar rules in black and white. Here's an excerpt of today's lesson from my teacher's guide.

I is a subject pronoun, and me an object pronoun. As a general rule, I is usually used before the verb in a sentence, and me is usually used after the verb.

Tip: Many people make the error of "overcorrecting" by using I when they should use me. They do this because of a well-intentioned but misinformed sense that I sounds more proper or refined, whereas in fact me is correct. Watch out for instances like the following:

Incorrect: They awarded the prize to Roger and I.
Correct: They awarded the prize to Roger and me.

Incorrect: They told Sally and I the news.
Correct: They told Sally and me the news.

And as usual in English grammar, there's a fly in the oinment! Although it's not a hard-and-fast rule, subject pronouns usually come before the verb, and object pronouns after. As in usually but not always.

I loosely follow the classical method of education and so I put a strong emphasis on grammar. Generally, I find that grammar is taught in junior high and high school but frankly, by then teenagers have too many other things going on. Elementary age is the prime time for learning grammar best in my opinion.

Lately, I've been interested in the Thomas Jefferson model of education. It's not a curriculum, but rather a way of raising up leaders.

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