Tag Archives: hypercorrection

“My friend and I” vs. “Me and my friend”

One mistake many people (not just high school students) commonly make is saying my friend and I when they should say me and my friend, or vice versa.

This becomes such a source of confusion because, as you grow up, parents and teachers constantly correct you when you say “Me and my friend are going to go hang out.”

Well-meaning adults correct you and say, “You mean my friend and I are going to go hang out.” And, as a result, you learn that my friend and I is the correct phrasing in this instance, but you don’t learn in which situations you are supposed to use it.

So, as a result, for fear of correction, you say my friend and I in EVERY situation, rather than just when it is correct. This over-reaction is called “hypercorrection” — correcting an error even when the error isn’t occurring.

My friend and I is the correct phrase when it’s used as the subject of the sentence, but not when it’s the object.  Consider:

  • John and I are going to go hang out.
  • A new friend is coming over to hang out with John and me.

In the second example, since the phrase is the object of a preposition, the correct use is me instead of I.

How can you make sure you don’t repeat this error? Just eliminate the “friend” from the sentence and see how it sounds:  “… hang out with I” or “hang out with me“? Now it’s clear that the latter is correct.

The proper use of I and me is tested on the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and GRE. Knowing proper grammatical style can help you in daily life, in your professional life, and on standardized tests. If you are planning to take any of these tests, contact Bobby Hood Test Prep for more information!