I or Me

anglik englishman

Ever wondered when you should use ‘I’ or ‘me’? Well, here’s my brief guide on the subject.

I is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it should be used when it is the subject of the sentence, that is the person doing the verb.

As in:

I want to go.

This is the one I like.

Magda and I are going to the movies.

Whereas.

Me is an object pronoun, which means that it should be used for the object of the sentence either direct or indirect.

As in:

Ania told me to leave.

She gave me some cheesecake.

He needs to talk to Magnus or me.

Whether you say you and I or you and me in co-ordinate phrases depends on whether they function as subjects or objects in the sentence.

i or me in english

When relating a story, do you wonder whether to say, “Anna and I went to the spa,” or “Anna and me went to the spa.” Here the correct word to use is “Anna and I went to the spa”.

When in doubt you might think about it in another way. Take out the other person, and it should become clearer. For example, you are not likely to say, “Me joined the archery club”, or “Matilda took I to the concert”.

Plethora

anglik englishman

Our word of the day is:

Plethora

Plethora is a noun meaning a very large amount or excessive amount of something.

Synonyms of the word plethora include: deluge, flood, glut, overabundance, plenty, profusion, superfluity.

An example of the word plethora in use in a sentence:

“There are a plethora of reasons why we should restore this much-loved local feature for future generations”.

Come back soon to discover another useful English word.

Long English Words

anglik englishman

Here are three of the longest proper words in English I have heard or read in recent days:

antidisestablishmentarianism meaning to withdraw government support for a particular religion.
sesquipedalianism meaning the practice of using long, often obscure, words in speech or writing.
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a thirty four letter word and most commonly used to describe something as ‘extraordinarily good’ or ‘wonderful’. Supercalifragilistic is an abbreviation of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Since I was reminded of this word while watching Mary Poppins, at Christmas, here’s a clip of the word being sung in that very same Walt Disney movie.

Codswallop

My word of the day is codswallop. It is a word meaning nonsense and probably most often used by English speakers from Great Britain and Ireland.

Synonyms of the word codswallop include: balderdash, baloney, hogwash, humbug, poppycock and rubbish.

Here’s an example of the word codswallop being used in a sentence:

Speaker A: Gorzów is probably the most cosmopolitan city in Europe.

Speaker B: “What a load of codswallop!”

Listen to it being spoken by a native speaker from England here.

Mince Pies

This morning a friend and I finished up the last of the mince pies I was given at Christmas. Here’s a picture of the very same prior to their consumption with a rather nice cup of instant coffee.

mince pies

Mince pies are shortcrust or puff pastry filled with a minced mixture of dried fruits, sugar, spices and brandy. Although, this rich and sticky mixture of fruit contains no meat it is called mince meat – and jars of ready-made mince pie filling sold in shop is labelled mincemeat. Mince pies have been eaten as part of a traditional Christmas in Great Britain and Ireland since the 16th century.

Here’s a link to a delicious, easy to make recipe, if you’d like to try making your own mince pies. I though recommend you serve them hot with cream rather than the brandy butter described.

Hanged or Hung

anglik englishman

One of my students asked me yesterday why the following sentence was marked as wrong by her high school teacher.

‘The last woman to be hung for murder in England was Ruth Ellis in 1955’.

In short: my reply was that the correct word should be ‘hanged’ and not ‘hung’.

In English objects, like pictures or coats, can be hung, but people are always hanged.

Knock Knock Jokes

‘Knock knock’ jokes are probably one of the most loved of jokes in English-speaking countries. Here are three of our personal favourites:

lettuce joke

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in it’s cold out here.

hobbit joke

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Hobbits!
Hobbits who?
Hobbits going out for a drink later.

ketchup joke

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Ketchup.
Ketchup who?
Catch up with me and I’ll tell you!

Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are an important part of Christmas celebrations in many English-speaking countries, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in coloured paper with a gift, a crown-like paper hat, and a motto or joke on a small piece of paper inside the central chamber. One person pulling one end of the cracker, another person the other end. When the cracker splits a snapping sound, similar to the sound produced by a cap gun, can be heard. This is due to the presence of a card strip impregnated with a special chemical inside the cracker. Christmas crackers are commonly pulled at the Christmas dinner table. The joke or riddle is told and the hat worn during the meal. The tradition of pulling crackers at Christmas dates back to at least the mid 19th century.

Lay or Lie

Lay or Lie

anglik englishman

Many people get confused over whether to use the words ‘lay’ or ‘lie’ in English.

Here’s our very brief guide.

Basically, lay means ‘to put something down’. Whereas, lie means to ‘recline’ or ‘to be in or put yourself into a flat position’.

Lay must have an object — something being laid. While lie cannot have an object.

For example, you might lay a plate on the table before eating. But when you feel tired, you lie down. You can’t lie a plate anywhere, and you can’t lay down when you want to go to sleep.

Lay is a regular verb. Lie is an irregular verb.

I hope this explanation about the difference between the words lay and lie helps in some small way.

Oh, and remember: lie can also mean ‘say something which is not true’.

As ever if you have any questions or comments to make on today’s language related point please make contact!