Difference Between Me and Mi in Spanish

Updated on July 24, 2017

Many people who are newcomers to Spanish tend to confuse the words me and mi. This is highly understandable, as the spellings are very similar and both refer to the one who is speaking. To native speakers or long-time users of Spanish, however, the two words have rather different spellings and meanings. This article will describe the many differences between me and mi.

Definitions

Calvin: I read this book from the library.
Mom: What do you think about it?
Calvin: To be honest, it made me see things differently. It gave me a lot to think about.
Mom: I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Calvin: It complicated my life. Don’t bring me to the library anymore.

The Spanish pronoun me has a lot of uses. First of all, Spanish speakers and writers use this pronoun to indicate that the speaker is talking about him/herself. While it is tempting to compare it directly to the English word I, the two are not exactly the same. The word me almost always appears before a verb, and does so in the following contexts:

  • As a direct object of a verb; for example, me ves. (“You see me.”) 
  • As an indirect object of a verb; for example, El me da un perro. (“He gives me a dog.”)
  • As a reflexive pronoun; for example, Me llamo José. (“I call myself ‘Jose’.”)
Calvin: How long do you need to be ready?
Hobbes: At least 15 minutes, plus drying time.
Calvin: *sighs*
Calvin: I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do.
Mom: You have all the outdoors to play in! If you can’t find anything to do, you haven’t tried at all. C’mon! Use your imagination!
Calvin (after splashing his mother with water): My childhood is full of mixed messages.

On the other hand, the Spanish pronoun mi implies possession or ownership of something. While it also indicates that the speaker is talking about him/herself, it is similar to the English word my. Mi is almost always found before a noun. You can read a few examples of sentences with mi below:

  • ¿Donde esta mi móvil? (“Where is my mobile phone?”)
  • Andrés es mi amigo. (“Andrés is my friend.”)
  • ¿Tienes mi bolsa? (“Do you have my purse?”)
  • Vamos a montar mi carro. (“Let’s ride my car.”)

Me vs Mi in Spanish

What is the difference between me and mi in Spanish? While they both refer to the speaker, they are used in very different contexts.

Positioning

Me is usually found before a verb or as a conjunction to it; for example, Me gusta comer helado. (“I like to eat ice cream.”) In the previous sentence, the pronoun me comes before the verb gusta.

In contrast, mi usually goes before a noun or another pronoun. For example, El helado es mi postre favorito. (“Ice cream is my favorite dessert.”) In the previous sentence, the pronoun mi comes before the noun postre.

Context

Me usually implies that the speaker is either the doer of a certain action or is affected by it. Mi, on the other hand, indicates that the speaker owns or possesses a certain item.

Equivalents in English

Me in Spanish and me in English are closely identical in meaning. Mi, however, is the closest Spanish equivalent to the English my.

Comparison Chart

MeMi
Usually found before a verb or attached to a verbUsually found before a noun or another program
Indicates that the speaker performs or is affected by a certain actionIndicates that the speaker owns or possesses a certain item
English equivalent: “me”English equivalent: “my”

Video

Play the video below to watch The Spanish Guy explain the difference between different Spanish pronouns, including me and mi.