Many people are unsure how to use the term “am I” or whether it is correct English to start a sentence. This page looks at the term and explains whether it is grammatically correct as well as what to say instead of “am I.”
Is It Correct to Say “Am I”?
It is not grammatically correct to start a sentence with the term “am I”, and there are better alternative ways of expressing the same. However, “am I” often appears in spoken English in the middle or at the end of sentences to confirm what was previously said or to ask questions.
The term “am I” basically has the auxiliary and the pronoun in the wrong order. However, it is a term that you will commonly hear in spoken English, although to a lesser degree in written English.
The term is used for two main purposes. The first is to ask questions and the second is as a “tag question” to confirm what was previously said. However, as a tag question, it is more common to use the correct version, which would be “aren’t I.”
Many people would consider the following examples to be “incorrect” and would rarely appear in writing. Nonetheless, in speech, it is relatively common to use “am I.”
Here are some examples of “am I” in a sentence:
- Am I going with you or are you going alone?
- I am not the right person, am I?
- Am I right or wrong? You tell me!
- I am not the person to whom you gave the papers, am I?
- Am I correct about what I told you earlier?
Other Ways to Say “Am I”
Other ways to say the same as “am I” but in different words include:
- Do you think I am correct about…
- Is it correct to say…
- Would I be correct in saying…
- Using the negative of whichever auxillary you started with.
Which one of these you would choose to use is dependent on the exact formulation of your sentence and what you are trying to achieve.
Do You Think I Am “Correct?”
The term “ do you think” can be added before the “I am” to ask the other person if they believe that whatever comes after the “am” is true.
The word “correct” can be replaced with another adjective or verb without changing the meaning. The crucial part of the sentence is the “do you think” part.
Here are some examples of “do you think” in a sentence:
- Do you think I am right about what I said earlier?
- Do you think I am the best in class?
- Do you think I am correct when I say he isn’t very sociable.
Is It Correct to Say…
The term “Is it correct to say?” could replace the term “am I correct to say?”
As with the above alternative, the word “say” and “correct” could be replaced with something else because the vital part of the sentence is the “is it”, which can be an alternative for “am I.”
Here are some examples of “is it correct to say” in a sentence:
- Is it correct to say that he is unpunctual?
- Is it fair to say that the event was a disaster?
Would I Be Correct in Saying…
The term “would I be correct in saying” can replace the term “am I” and is more grammatically sound. As with the previous alternatives, the words “correct” and “said” could be replaced with other words, but the sentence structure should remain the same.
Here are some examples of “would I be correct if I said…” in a sentence:
- Would I be correct in saying that the event was not very successful?
- Would I be correct in saying that the exam was impossible?
Using the Negative of Whichever Auxiliary Starts the Sentence
Using the negative form of the auxiliary is the standard form of making “tag questions.”
“Tag questions” are used at the end of a sentence to confirm that what you have just said is true or that the other person agrees. They are formed by using the “opposite” auxiliary of the one that starts the question. Therefore, in the case of “am”, the correct negative auxiliary would be “aren’t.”
Here are some examples of the negative auxiliary “aren’t”:
- I am coming with you, aren’t I?
- I am your best friend, aren’t I?
- I am the most dedicated student in class, aren’t I?