Last week, I received an email from some­one who want­ed to know how to prop­er­ly write a birth­day greet­ing, specif­i­cal­ly:

Hap­py birth­day from Sue and I or Sue and me?

I have seen a few peo­ple ask ques­tions sim­i­lar to this, so I thought I’d turn my response into a blog post.

The cor­rect form would be “Hap­py birth­day from Sue and me.” One trick to remem­ber is to split the sen­tence in two for each per­son:

  • Hap­py birth­day from Sue.
  • Hap­py birth­day from me. (“Hap­py birth­day from I” wouldn’t make sense.)

I is the nom­i­na­tive sin­gu­lar first-per­son pro­noun and me is the objec­tive sin­gu­lar first-per­son pro­noun. What that means is that me is used when speak­ing about your­self as an object:

  • John gave the hot pep­pers to me. (John is the sub­ject, me is one of the objects)
  • Sue went to the library with me. (Sue is the sub­ject, me is one of the objects)
  • Jose bought a can­dy for me. (Jose is the sub­ject, me is one of the objects)
  • Mishti jumped her motor­cy­cle over me. (Mishti is the sub­ject, me is one of the objects)

You get the pic­ture. If you are the one per­form­ing the actions, then use I. If the action is being per­formed upon you, use me.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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