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I or me?

It’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Here’s a topic a friend suggested to me on Facebook:

When to use “I” and when to use “me.” These two words are often mixed up, usually at the end of a sentence. Here are the facts:

  • Use “I” as the subject (when you are doing the action).
  • Use “me” as the object (when you are receiving the action)

I or me ~ 5-minute grammar lesson

Here’s something you might hear:

Polly went shopping with Vikki and I. – Sounds formal, right? Must be correct. Well, it’s not. “I” shouldn’t be used because it isn’t the subject of the sentence, Polly is. “Me” should be used because it is the object – it is receiving the action.

Confused? Here’s an easy check. Simply delete the extra information and see if the sentence still makes sense.

Polly went shopping with I. That doesn’t make any sense. So, the correct version is:

Polly went shopping with Vikki and me. Even though it sounds less formal, it’s right.

Make sense?  🙂

Do you have a topic you would like me to address? I’d love to know. Comment on my Facebook page, send me an email, or leave a comment here on the blog. I’ll add it to the list!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Lay or Lie? – 5 Minute Grammar Lesson

LAY and LIE are two words that cause a lot of confusion (And I have been guilty of using them incorrectly, too) This is my best attempt to explain the difference. It’s a little technical, so bear with me! 🙂

Lay or Lie 5 minutes grammar lesson

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

Lay or Lie?

According to the Everyday Writer, the textbook I use in the college composition classes I teach:

How to use Lay

1. LAY means to “place” or “put.” Its main forms are lay, laid, laid. If you are putting a book on the table, you will say, “I am laying a book on the table.” It usually takes a direct object (the word specifying WHAT has been placed), in this case, a book.

One way you can test the usage is to replace the word LAY with PLACE or PUT. In this case they all make sense: I will lay the book on the table. I will place the book on the table. I will put the book on the table. Good.

How to use Lie

2. LIE means to “recline” or “be positioned” and does not take a direct object.  Its main forms are lie, lay, lain. This is the form that most people use incorrectly. For instance, these forms are all wrong:

  • I will lay down.
  • To a dog: LAY down!
  • At the doctor’s office: LAY back, please.

See, there is no direct object used in the above sentences. And if that’s too confusing, use the test I mentioned above, and replace LIE with “put.”

  • I will PUT down? Nope.
  • PUT down, Dog! Nope.
  • PUT back, please. Again, nope!! So instead of LAY, use LIE.

I will LIE down. Yes.
LIE down, Dog. Yes.
LIE back, please. Yes.

Here’s my best advice, though: when in doubt, use a different word! For example:

I’m going to rest.
Platz. (German for Lie down.)
Put your head on the pillow! 🙂

Hopefully, that will help you use LAY and LIE correctly. And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson.

Lay or Lie ~5 minute grammar lesson

Here are more grammar posts you may like:

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Less or Fewer?

Should have gone or Should have went?

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson :: How to Use a Semicolon

Welcome to another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic includes easy to follow rules so you can learn how to use a semicolon!

;     ;     ;    ;    ;     ;      ;     ;     ;      ;     ;
How to use a semi-colon. 5 Minute Grammar Lesson with SimplifyLiveLove*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

How to Use a Semicolon

Semicolons baffle a lot of people, but they shouldn’t because they are really pretty easy. As long as you can tell the difference between a complete sentence and a fragment, semicolons are very straightforward. They have two  main uses:

1. To separate items in a complex list.
Usually, when we separate items in a list, we use a comma: I like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.


Sometimes, the list is more complicated and we use semicolons instead: When my husband was in the military we lived in Sacramento, California; Tempe, Arizona; Okinawa, Japan; and, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Too easy, right?

2. To connect complete sentences.
Number 2 is the one that normally confuses people because they try to connect a fragment and a sentence with a semicolon, and that is WRONG.

Wrong: Although the police officer is a very big man; he wasn’t hungry and he wouldn’t eat the donuts. The first part of this sentence is a fragment. Instead of a semicolon, a comma should be used. OR, simply take the “although” off the first part of the sentence and it’s fixed:

Correct: The police officer is a very big man; he wasn’t hungry and he wouldn’t eat the donuts. Here you have two complete sentences linked by a semicolon. No problem, right!

To me, the hard part about semicolons is identifying fragments. As long as you remember that a complete sentence must have both a subject AND a verb, you should be fine!

Learn easy rules for how to use a semi-colon in this 5 minute grammar lesson with simplifylifelove.

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson!

For more grammar help, check out these resources.

Want more grammar posts?

It’s or Its?

Less or Fewer?

Top 10 Mistakes Bloggers Make {and how to stop them}

Who’s or WHOSE?

Who or Whom?

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

Would of OR Would have?

I’m really curious how social media and texting affect grammar. I ASSUME that texting and facebooking and twitter have a negative influence on grammar. But you know what they say when a person ASSUMES something… It could be that many people have always had terrible grammar and all these forms of communication make the mistakes that much more noticeable to people who care.

I have an MA in English Linguistics and I conducted a unique study for my thesis to learn how sociolinguistics impacts second language learning. Specifically, I looked at sexist language and found that it can change how language learners may behave. Language is CRAZY powerful.

If you don’t know, sociolinguistics is, “the study of language and linguistic behavior as influenced by social and cultural factors.” It fascinates me! In an ideal world, I would return to school and earn my PhD and I might just focus on social media. Social media and texting were not really around when I earned my MA in 2002. But, I know, linguists at universities are studying this right now. I would love to, too!

 Proper grammar for would of or would have
Anyway, here’s another common grammar error that I see all the time, especially on Facebook:
writing WOULD OF (SHOULD OF or COULD OF)  instead of WOULD HAVE (SHOULD HAVE or COULD HAVE).

When we speak, it sometimes sounds like we say WOULD OF because of the way we slur our words together. However, it’s not correct in WRITTEN English.Always write WOULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE, and COULD HAVE. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. No exceptions! It’s just good (and correct) grammar.

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson for the week! 🙂