My friend Anne wrote recently to ask about a pair of sentences she was puzzling over. She wanted to know which of the following is correct: “Me seeing that letter is important” or “My seeing that letter is important.”
She had an idea: “I think it's ‘my,’” she wrote, “but I don't know why I think that.”
I know why she thought that: because “my” seems more natural and more logical. Ninety-nine times out of 100 something that seems better is better. After all, grammar rules are really just an analysis of how we use the language. We use it by instinct and the rules usually reflect that.
As Anne guessed, “my” is better in her sentence than “me.” Anyone who’s happy with a simple, intuitive answer can leave it at that. But for people who like to understand the why of these things — well, that’s tougher, because this touches on a matter that grammarians have been wrangling over for centuries.