Complete the title of this post. Should it finish with “I” or “me”?
So, which is it?
1. Do you love chocolate more than me?
2. Do you love chocolate more than I?
3. Do you love chocolate more than I do?
It’s certainly the case that “than” has been used as a conjunction for eons (or as we’d say back in the Midwest, “for a coon’s age”). The third example above uses “than” to join the first thought with the second thought; that is, “do you love chocolate more” is being joined with “I do.”
Given that example, it seems reasonable to assert that you could also say, “Do you love chocolate more than I,” because in that case you are implying the final “do.” But it also sounds a bit pretentious (“Pretentious? Moi?”) and maybe a little awkward.
Now, there’s evidence that some of the greats used “than” as a preposition — even William Shakespeare and John Milton. The problem with that (“… more than me”), at least in this context, is that it is interpreted as questioning whether the person being spoken to loves chocolate more than she loves me. Do you love chocolate more than me? Do you love chocolate more than you love me?
Certainly there are grammarians (Madame Librarians) who believe “than” can only be a conjunction. My brief look around, though, seems to indicate that most grammarians are fine with calling “than” a preposition.
It just depends what you mean.
That being said, now I’m wondering if you really do love chocolate more than me.