Which is correct to say: “It's me” or “It's I”?
Tonight I watched a movie (The Gospel of John) in which Jesus said (as quoted from the written Gospel of John), "It is I."
How does this expression differ from "It is me?"
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"It is me" is the more commonly spoken form, while "It is I" is commonly written, taught in school, and sometimes spoken especially in formal or archaic use.
Here is an excerpt of Mark Israel's summary of "It's me" vs "It's I" from the alt-usage-english fast-access FAQ:
The rule for what [Fowler] and others consider technically right is ... that "to be" should link two noun phrases of the same case, whether this be nominative or accusative. ...
Sometimes in English, though, "to be" does seem to have the force of a transitive verb. ... The occurrence of "It's me", etc., is no doubt partly due to this perceived transitive force. ...
The final factor is the traditional use of Latin grammatical concepts to teach English grammar.
For more information, see the (duplicate) question Which is correct to say: "It's me" or "It's I".
Note: Some other answers on this page imply that this question of whether to use "I" or "me" after "is" (pronoun case after copula), is the same as the question of whether to use "I" or "me" after "and" (pronoun case after conjunction). While these may be related, there is no reason to assume they are the same.
Both expressions mean the same thing.
However, both of these pronouns have different rules of usages. In this case, they are both correct, because in some cases, like this case, they are interchangeable, but there are also instances when one of them can be used, but not the other:
"I" is a first person singular subject pronoun.
"Me" is a first person singular object pronoun.
Usually, there are interchangeable, as in the above example, but the bottom line is, don't use a subject pronoun and an object pronoun together. For example,
He and I = correct
He and me = wrong.
In the case of nouns, like "John and I" vs. "John and me", just substitute the appropriate pronoun for "John", and determine whether it is correct or not. For example:
John and I/He and I
John and me/He and me.
So, you would know that "John and me" is an incorrect usage in this case.
Edit: As @MT_Head very kindly pointed out, there are cases when the noun can be replaced by a subject pronoun, and in other cases, by an object pronoun. In each case, substitute the correct pronoun and determine whether or not it is correct.
In a stage of life where I was more patient with the world, I would have tried to say this more politely. But basically, there is a class of people poorly educated in language/lingusitics but who wish to pretend otherwise that insist, for various spurious, easily falsifiable reasons, that instead of saying "It is me" (which is a natural, grammatical utterance in English), one 'should' say "It is I". The same people probably believe that homeopathic remedies will cure their brain cancer.
Maybe read "Language Myths" ed Bauer/Trudgill to see why it's a load of nonsense...
There is no difference - I think it is just grammar. You just use them in different places. For example;
leave my wife and me alone.
my wife and I will go.
So I you should use
I depending on the context:
"Who is the person who I should leave alone?"
"It is me" (who you should leave alone)
"Who is the person who will go?"
"I is I" (who will go)
"Who is there?"
"It is I, Severus Snape" (I am Severus Snape)
me) is something that native speakers constantly make mistakes with. I would not be surprised if there were mistakes in my own examples.
The way it was explained to me when I was a teenager, that finally caused the penny to drop was:
The 'me' or I has to stand alone. If you take the other elements out of the sentence does one or other of the pronouns sound right.
eg.1. "Sally and me went to the movies." does not sound right if you take Sally out of the story. (Me went to the movies.) So, this sentence should be: Sally and I went to the movies.
eg.2. "Benny met Sally and I in the mall." Once again, if you take Sally out the the story, it doesn't sound right. (Benny met I in the mall.) You would more naturally say, "Benny met me in the mall. So the correct way to say this sentence would be: Benny met me and Sally in the mall.
Thirty years later I still have to sometimes mentally make the me or I stand alone before I commit myself to a sentence.
"It is me" is ungrammatical. Transitive verbs, like speak take a subject and an object. Thus,
You (subject) will speak to me. (object)
The verb to be is not transitive, but copular. It takes a subject and predicate. Thus,
It (subject) is I. (predicate)
Also, it must be
We'll soon find out who (subject) is who (predicate.)
We'll soon find out who (subject) is whom (object.)
Edit: Please see @krubo's excellent answer below.
Edit: RegDwight is right that “It is I” is very formal for speech, and few people talk like this anymore.