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To Keith and me or To Keith and I?
Subject & Object Pronouns

Many people make mistakes with subject and object pronouns. Do you? Let's see!

Do you know which of the following sentences is correct? Do you know why?

Send the file to Keith and me. 

Send the file to Keith and I.

The question here is whether to use the pronoun I or the pronoun me after a preposition (to).

In order to understand the answer, we need to learn a little bit about prepositions and pronouns. Here we go!


Prepositions

Prepositions are words like to, from, above, and with. They are always in prepositional phrases. 

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun. Here are a few examples of prepositional phrases. 

with butter, during lunch, from Margaret

The noun or pronoun at the end of the phrase has a fancy name. It's called the object of the preposition

The job of a preposition is to show how the object of the preposition relates to other words in the sentence. So, in order to do its job, every preposition needs an object of the preposition.

If you have a preposition, you must also have an object of the preposition.


Subject & Object Pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. Different pronouns perform different jobs in our sentences.

Some pronouns are used as subjects (I, he, she...), and some pronouns are used as objects (me, him, her...).

You can't mix them up. Unless you are Tarzan, you wouldn't say, "Me want water."

The word me sounds wrong because it's an object pronoun trying to do the job of a subject pronoun. You would say, "want water."

I is a subject pronoun, and it is the subject of the sentence.

When pronouns are used in prepositional phrases, do you think that they should be subject pronouns or object pronouns?

Remember that we're talking about objects of the preposition.

Pronouns in prepositional phrases must be object pronouns.


Conclusion & Answer

Prepositions need objects (nouns or pronouns), and their objects need to be in the objective form. Since I is a subject pronoun, it can't be the object of a preposition. 

That is why the following sentence is correct.

Send the file to Keith and me.


8 Handy Grammar Graphics

8 Handy Grammar Graphics gives you a fun and visual way to get started teaching or learning grammar and sentence diagramming. Yay!