Grammar You and I or You and Me: Which Is Correct? |
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You and I or You and Me: Which Is Correct?

Even those who pay attention to grammar can allow certain inaccuracies to slip in, particularly in informal communication.

One of the most prevalent grammatical errors appears in how we apply phrases such as you and I and you and me. Writers and speakers might use one or the other to sound articulate and yet be off the mark.

With that in mind, let’s review how to keep precision well within view.

When to Use You and I vs. You and Me

First, let’s establish that either you and I or you and me can be correct depending on the context. Using the proper phrase is simply a matter of identifying the phrase’s role in the sentence.

In grammatical terms, I is a subject pronoun, and me is an object pronoun. That means you would use I to express that you yourself are performing an action and me to indicate you are receiving an action.

As understood in those terms, you and I is the right phrase when we are the subject of a sentence (performing the action), and you and me is correct when we are an object in a sentence (receiving the action).

Examples

You and I have been shopping for hours. (subject performing the action)
You and I beat our previous high scores for bowling that night. (subject performing the action)

The professor gave you and me deductions for talking in class. (indirect object receiving the action)
The rain was pouring down on you and me at the bus stop. (object of a preposition)

As you can see, it’s you and I when we initiate the action and you and me when we don’t.

You and I vs. You and Me: Another Way to Remember

An easy way to keep these expressions straight is to ask yourself what you would write if the statement was using only I or me. In other words, take “you and” out of the sentence and see whether the remaining text feels correct.

For example, suppose you have written:

You and I should go to the park.

Now take out “You and”:

I should go to the park.

Most of us will intuit right away that this is the right use of the pronoun. If on the other hand we wrote me should go to the park, it would not sound right. Thus we know that you and I is the correct choice.

Because we are so used to “you and I” in conversation and even in some writing, at times the correct English might sound wrong. With practice and repetition in your writing, however, you can fine-tune your grammatical ear to achieve precision with your eloquence.

Pop Quiz

Choose the correct phrase in each sentence.

1. Let’s keep that information between [you and I / you and me].

2. I think they might ask [you and I / you and me] to volunteer for the trade show.

3. [You and I / You and me] should get the tickets now while they’re still available.

4. The choir director thinks that [you and I / you and me] should harmonize on that part of our solo.

5. Jodie said she’s probably going to give [you and I / you and me] the rest of the day off.

Pop Quiz Answers

1. Let’s keep that information between you and me. (object of a preposition)

2. I think they might ask you and me to volunteer for the trade show. (direct object)

3. You and I should get the tickets now while they’re still available. (subject)

4. The choir director thinks that you and I should harmonize on that part of our solo. (subject)

5. Jodie said she’s probably going to give you and me the rest of the day off. (direct object)

Have More Grammar Questions?

We hope you found this quick grammar review to be useful for your own writing and communication. We’re always adding to our content to help you achieve greater written precision. Browse our archive of topics. If you have a thought or a question about this post, leave it for us below!

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One response to “You and I or You and Me: Which Is Correct?”

  1. Thomas Stafford says:

    Used your site for the first time today. Answered my question. Very easy to understand your explanation and examples. Yes, I passed the test.

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