How to Write Grammatically Correct Photo Captions

“Aardvark and me” or “Aardvark and I”?

Mignon Fogarty,
February 17, 2011
Episode #263

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photo captionsThe podcast edition of this article was sponsored by Audible. Get a free audiobook to keep when you sign up for a free trial at AudiblePodcast.com/gg.

Last week Monique sent in the following question:

“A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook and the caption read ‘I and Anas.’ I corrected her but instead of picking up the mistake like a native English speaker would have, she is adamant about it being correct and went as far as asking me why it is incorrect . . . Could you tell me why her saying ‘I and Anas’ is incorrect?” 

I regularly get questions like this about photo captions, and I covered it in my books, but I’ve never done a podcast about it, so let’s do it today.

How to Write Grammatically Correct Photo Captions

The biggest problem with photo captions is that they often aren’t complete sentences, and choosing between the pronoun “I” and the pronoun “me” depends on where that pronoun falls in a complete sentence--whether it’s the subject or object. If it’s in the subject position, you use “I” (the subject pronoun), but if it’s in the object position, you use “me” (the object pronoun).

Subject Versus Object

A subject is the one taking action in a sentence and the object is the one receiving the action or serving as the target of the action. In the sentence “Squiggly released the arrow,” Squiggly is the subject and the arrow is the object. Further, pronouns that follow prepositions such as “of” and “between” are always in the object case.


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