One of my students recently asked me the difference between “It is me or It is I” and which one is correct to use in a sentence.
- It is me who writes all the articles on the website.
- It is I who writes all the articles on the website.
This is a common confusion English learners have. Let’s understand what to use: It is me or It is I.
ME vs I
Both me and I are pronouns in English.
Me is an objective pronoun. Here are the 7 objective pronouns in English: me, you, us, him, her, them, and it. Objective pronouns are used in place of an object: the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.
- They love me a lot. (object of the verb ‘love’)
- She is thinking about me. (object of the preposition ‘me’)
On the other hand, ‘I’ is a subjective pronoun that is used in place of a subject. Here are the subjective pronouns in English: I, we, you, he, she, it, and they.
- I love teaching English.
- I am a teacher.
Now, you should know what the difference is between It is me or It is I.
The first thing we must understand is that ‘is‘ is a linking verb here. It is a ‘to be‘ form of a verb: is, am, are, was, and were. A linking verb connects the subject to a part called the subject complement. Linking verbs don’t indicate any action; they just link the subject to the subject complement and show the state of the subject.
A subject complement is either a noun or an adjective. As a noun, it renames the subject, and as an adjective, it describes the subject.
It is me
According to the traditional grammar rules, the pronoun me should not be placed after a linking verb as you can either use a noun or a pronoun in the subjective form (adjectives can be used too in case you want to describe the subject).
Me is an objective pronoun and is used in place of an object. But here, it does not work as an object; it works as a subject complement. What comes after the linking verb (is) here is the subject complement, not an object. So, with this logic, the usage of me is incorrect here.
But in modern English, people tend to use me (an objective pronoun) in this structure, and we have almost accepted it. Though it does not follow the traditional grammar rule, it is perfectly fine to use an objective pronoun in the structure.
- Who is at the door?
- It is me, Rahul.
- It was me who they want to hire.
- It is me who has come up with this idea.
- I feel it’s me who you should be apologizing to.
It is I
Now, you must have understood that it is I is grammatically correct. I is a subject complement that replaces a noun. But in today’s conversations, ‘it is I’ is not often used and considered old. But you can still find it in older textbooks.
Some examples of It is I:
- It is I who has fought for your rights.
- It is I who is getting death threads; you are living your life peacefully.
- Who is at behind the curtains? It is I.
- They think it was I who is responsible for the loss.
It is me vs It is I (Conclusion)
Though using a subjective pronoun (I, we, you, they, he, she, it) is grammatically correct here. But it is not a common practice today. We use an objective pronoun in everyday conversations.
But if you need to be technical, use the subject pronoun. Use the objective pronoun otherwise.
- It is Ashish who teaches the English class.
- It is me who teaches the English class.
- It is I who teaches the English class.
In conclusion, both it is me and it is I are correct to use, and introduce yourself and the action that you perform. It is I is just more formal but odd to people’s ears in modern English (yet correct), and it is me is less formal and more common and liked in today’s conversations.