In this example (not sure about the punctuation because I heard it):

When you get a new box, the question is do I keep the box or do I throw the box out - me personally I keep it.

How come the object form of I is used in the bolded phrase?

  • Welcome to the unfettered domain of idiomatic English! It is far from uncommon to hear (and read) the first person objective pronoun used as a subject. "Me and Bob drank some brewskis." – P. E. Dant Jun 6 '17 at 21:26
  • 3
    @P.E.Dant No, that's not what's going on. The subject there is I: "I keep it" – Laurel Jun 6 '17 at 21:31
  • @Laurel - Agreed. The me is added in – perhaps as a "conversational colloquialism" added for emphasis? Remove it and the sentence reads just fine. – J.R. Jun 6 '17 at 21:33
  • @J.R. This is quite a curveball, you must admit, but my comment, aye, it's in error. ;). I spent ten minutes deciding that there is no way to assert with certainty which pronoun the adverb modifies: I or me. I dimly recall that there is a name for the role that the phrase "Me personally" plays here (if the reader assumes a comma after the pronoun). Some grammarian or another had a name for the role, and for this kind of phrase. (cont.) – P. E. Dant Jun 7 '17 at 3:30
  • (cont.) Also rolled up in this question is the chestnut: what is "personally" here? And does it modify the objective pronoun? After yet another 10 minutes, I invoked StoneyB's Ricky's Arrogance Principle and went looking for a wee dram. – P. E. Dant Jun 7 '17 at 3:30

This is a common way while speaking to add emphasis to the following I, in this case to the fact that the speaker actually does something ("I keep it"). I would not use it in writing (except for really casual writing) because it is colloquial and not good stylistically.

Grammatically, it should be thought of as an ellipsis of a longer phrase, such as "for me", "as for me", "speaking for me", etc. (Sometimes these words are not elided at all.)

These examples from the internet should help:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.