You and I or You and Me?

If You and Me Send It, Will They Return It to You and I?

by Owen Fourie

It really doesn’t matter what “it” is. What matters is the grammar in this question.

You probably say “you and me” or “you and I” quite often. When you use these expressions, are you using them correctly?

Of the four sentences below, which two are correct?

  1. You and me will go to the concert.
  2. The usher will show you and me where to sit.
  3. You and I will enjoy the concert.
  4. My cousin will meet you and I at the stadium.

To be correct, you should understand these facts

  1. I, me, and you are pronouns.
  2. Pronouns, like nouns, can occupy the subject position and the object position in a sentence.
  3. The basic division of a sentence is the part before the verb—the subject—and the part after the verb—the object.
  4. The pronoun I belongs in the subject part of a sentence.
  5. The pronoun me belongs in the object part of a sentence.
  6. The pronoun you can be in the subject and in the object parts of a sentence.

Apply these facts to the four sentences

The verb in each sentence is in boldface separating the subject part before it from the object part after it.

  1. You and me will go to the concert. Me belongs in the object part. Use I. You and I will go …
  2. The usher will show you and me where to sit. Correct.
  3. You and I will enjoy the concert. Correct.
  4. My cousin will meet you and I at the stadium. I belongs in the subject part. Use me. … will meet you and me …

Drop you

To choose the correct expression, simply drop you and ask yourself, would I say,

  1. Me will go to the concert … ? No. You would say I, so say, You and I will go …
  2. The usher will show me where to sit … ? Correct. Use you and me
  3. I will enjoy the concert … ? Correct. Use you and I
  4. My cousin will meet I at the stadium … ? No. You would say me, so say, … will meet you and me

Between you and I?

The expression “between you and I” has become quite common. Are the following two sentences correct?

  1. Between you and I, I am not happy about my cousin meeting us there.
  2. I am not happy about my cousin meeting us there, but this is between you and I.

To be correct, understand these facts

  1. In those two statements, between is a preposition.
  2. A preposition is followed by its object (a noun or a pronoun).
  3. Only object pronouns can follow a preposition.
  4. I is a subject pronoun, so “between you and I” is not correct.
  5. The correct expression is “between you and me.”

Between you and me, I am not happy about my cousin meeting us there.

I am not happy about my cousin meeting us there, but this is between you and me.

Be polite!

Whenever you use these expressions, be polite and place yourself in the second position. Don’t say, “I and you” or “me and you.”

Enough said! It’s time for you and me to enjoy the concert.

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Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome. Are there other expressions in speech that make you wonder if they are correct? Ask here for clarification.

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

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