Is It You and Me or You and I? (with Examples)

The proper way to use you and me or you and I is to use ‘you and me’ in the object of a verb function position in a sentence and to use ‘you and I’ in the subject of the verb function position in a sentence. Another rule for ‘you and I’ and ‘you and me’ is that it is more acceptable to use ‘you and me’ after a preposition that it complements than the other way around.

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In this post, I will clear your mind, once and for all, about the correct way to use ‘you and me’ and ‘you and I’.

You will have a simple, direct explanation of the grammatical rule for the use of ‘you and me’ and ‘you and I’.

The correct use of ‘you and me’ or ‘you and I’ examples you will find in this tutorial should enable you to get it right each time such a situation arises.

Are you ready to get a clearer understanding of the proper use of ‘you and me’ or ‘you and ‘I’? Then continue reading.

You are about to have all the confusion surrounding the rules governing ‘you and I’ and ‘you and me’ removed today.

Popular Questions about You and Me or You and I

Let’s first have a quick overview of the issues we will address in this tutorial.

  • Which is correct: you and me or you and I?
  • What is the proper way to say ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’?
  • When must I say you and she or you and her?
  • What are ‘you and me’ and ‘you and I’ examples?
  • Is it John and me or John and I? Which one is grammatically correct?
  • Do we say John and me or John and I?
  • Should I say Peter and I or Peter and me?
  • Which is correct: Sally and me or Sally and I?
  • Is it David and me or David and I?
  • Goliath and I or Goliath and me. Which is correct?
  • Is it me and Emily or Emily and I?
  • Is it between you and me or between you and I? Which one is grammatically correct?
  • What are the grammar rules for the correct use of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘him’, ‘she’, ‘her’, ‘it’, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘they’ and ‘them’?

Let’s get started.

Grammar Rules for You, I and Me

I will begin by telling you a fundamental truth about these things.

There are many other pronouns that belong to the same category that ‘I’, ‘you’, and ‘me’ belong to. For that matter, the rules about the proper use of ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’ equally hold for them as well.

To put it differently, the controversy surrounding the correct or incorrect use of ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’ goes beyond these three pronouns.

So let’s look at the factors that affect the use of all these pronouns including ‘you’, ‘I’ and ‘me’.

The major factors that affect the choice of either I or ME, HE or HIM, SHE or HER, WE or US and THEY or THEM are the following.

  • Whether the pronoun is functioning as the object in the sentence
  • Whether the pronoun is functioning as the subject in the sentence
  • Whether the pronoun is functioning as the complement of a preposition in the sentence

When to Use ME, HIM, HER, US and THEM

Remember that ME, HIM, HER, US and THEM are object pronouns. In other words, ME, HIM, HER, US and THEM perform the ‘object of the verb’ function of pronouns in the English sentence.

In addition, these same pronouns are what we use to complement prepositions in sentences.

Here are the situations that call for the use of ME, HIM, HER, US and THEM.

1. When the pronoun comes immediately after a preposition.

Examples of prepositions are in, on, to, for, from, by, between (please note BETWEEN), with, under, before, below, above, and over.

Examples:

  • In you/in it/In me/in you and me,
  • On you/on it/on me/on you and me
  • To you/to it/to me/to you and me
  • For you/for it/for me/for you and me
  • From you/from it/from me/from you and me
  • By you/by it/by me/by you and me/by David and me
  • With you/with it/with me/ with you and me/with David and me
  • Between us/between them/ between you (you two)
  • Between you and me (Unless we are referring to two people, we can’t say ‘between you’. Again, for obvious reasons, we cannot ordinarily say ‘between me’.)

NOTE: Read my final thoughts at the end of this tutorial on the controversy surrounding the choice between ‘between you and me’ and ‘between you and I’.

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2. When the pronoun comes after a transitive verb in a sentence.

It is thus performing the function of ‘object of the verb’.

What are transitive verbs?

Transitive verbs are verbs that require an object to make them complete in a sentence.

Examples of Transitive Verbs

Examples of transitive verbs are cut, bring, show, take, use, bake, like, love, hate, kick, fry, cook and make.

PLEASE NOTE: Some verbs can be used as both transitive and intransitive verbs. It all depends on the sentence in question.

For example, the verb ‘forget’ can be used either as a transitive verb or as an intransitive verb.

TRANSITIVE: They promised not to forget you and me.

INTRANSITIVE: They said they would never forget.

KEY POINT. Enough of transitive verbs. The issue at stake right now has got to do with if, when and where to say you and me or you and I.

So let’s get back to where the problem lies: I or ME

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Here is a simple way to instinctively choose I over ME and vice versa.

Remove ‘you and’ and say everything else.

Example: Is it ‘She brought a basketful of foodstuffs to you and I’ or ‘She brought a basketful of foodstuffs to you and me”?

Now let’s remove ‘you and’.

Would you say,

She brought a basketful of foodstuffs to I?

OR

She brought a basketful of foodstuffs to me?

Now we both know which is the acceptable option, right?

SHE BROUGHT A BASKETFUL OF FOODSTUFFS TO ME.

So when you have a sentence like the above where you have to choose between I and ME, I expect you to get it right.

She brought a basketful of foodstuffs to you and me.

That is,

She brought it to you

She brought it to me

She brought it to us. (not to WE)

She brought it to you and me.

She gave it to + Object Pronouns (you, me, us, him, her, them)

She gave it to you.

She gave it to me. (not to I)

She gave it to us. (not to WE)

She gave it to him. (not to HE)

She gave it to her. (not to SHE)

She gave it to them. (not to THEY)

Therefore, you will now agree that the sentences below show the correct use of you and me or you and I.

She gave it to YOU AND ME (not to YOU AND I)

They gave it to YOU AND US (not to YOU AND WE)

He gave it to YOU AND HIM (not to YOU AND HE)

She gave it to YOU AND HER (not to YOU AND SHE)

When to Use I, HE, SHE, WE and THEY

I, he, she, it, we and they must be used in the subject position in a sentence.

Examples:

  • You have found a friend.
  • I have found a friend.
  • You and I have found a friend.
  • He has found a friend.
  • I have found a friend.
  • He and I have found a friend
  • Kamara and I have found a friend.
  • She has found a friend.
  • She and I have found a friend.
  • Fatima and I have found a friend.

It has found a friend.

We have found a friend.

They have found a friend.

Here, too, try replacing I, HE, SHE, WE and THEY with ME, HIM, HER, US and THEM respectively in each sentence above.

Do you see? At the very least, the sentence sounds very awkward.

It will now be easier for you and me to resolve other popular questions about whether to say you and me or you and I.

So here we go.

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Is it David and I or David and me?

It depends. We can use both correctly in sentences. Have a look at these instances.

SUBJECT: David and I will talk to Uncle Sam next week.

COMPLEMENT OF A PREPOSITION: Uncle Sam will talk to David and me next week.

Do we say John and me or John and I?

We can say either and it will sound perfectly correct. However, we must remember to use each in its right position in the sentence.

SUBJECT: John and I met the professor.

OBJECT: The professor met John and me.

Is it Emily and I or Emily and me?

Both are correct depending on how you use them in a sentence.

SUBJECT: Emily and I spoke to the financial advisor.

COMPLEMENT OF A PREPOSITION: The financial advisor spoke to Emily and me.

OBJECT OF A VERB: Who invited you and me to the party?

Is it Sally and I or Sally and me?

Either can be used in an acceptable way.

SUBJECT: Sally and I take your comments seriously.

OBJECT: Will you ever take Sally and me seriously?

COMPLEMENT OF A PREPOSITION: Ken Erics sang to Sally and me when we met him in Port Harcourt.

Additional Examples of You and I or You and Me

Goliath and I come from Palestine.

What do you want to learn about Palestine from Goliath and me?

Peter and I went to the mountains together.

The teacher sent Peter and me to the mountain.

You and I will go and see them.

They will come and see you and me.

Practice Test on You and Me or You and I

It is now time for you and me to reinforce our understanding of the correct use of ‘you and me’ or ‘you and I’.

Don’t worry. This quiz and all others on this site are free, private and confidential. You will instantly see your performance report too. However, you are free to share your results with anyone.

There is something special about ‘you’ and ‘it’.

So why is it that there is no controversy over the choice of ‘you’? Why is the problem always about ‘me’ or ‘I’?

Here is the answer.

The pronoun ‘you’ has the same spelling and pronunciation whether it is performing the function of a subject or an object.

I think this is the main reason why you and I experience no headaches over its use.

In sentences A1 and A2 below, ‘you’ is functioning as the subject of the verb ‘made’ while in sentences B1 and B2, it is functioning as the object of the verb ‘made’.

In sentence C, it is functioning as the complement of the preposition ‘for’.

A1. You made a terrible mistake.

A2. You and I made a terrible mistake.

B1. Luchy Donalds made you what you are today.

B2. Luchy Donalds made you and me what we are today.

C. Without you and me, nothing works here.

It is the same with ‘it’ too.

Had it been other pronouns where there is a clear difference in the spelling and pronunciation of the subject pronoun and the object pronoun, ‘you’ (and ‘it’) would have suffered the same fate that its cousins face each time you and I use them.

Final Thoughts

Remember always that technically, ‘I’ is a subject pronoun and must be used as such. ‘Me’, on the other hand, is an object pronoun and is best used as such.

Again, the object pronoun is what we normally use after a preposition. So don’t forget, even if ‘you’ is part of the phrase.

Colloquial forms of English may have evolved to tolerate the widespread use of expressions like ‘between you and I’. Much as we recognize that language is dynamic and is ever willing to bend to the wind of change, some technical grammar rules will continue to prevail, at least in formal discourse, for a long time to come.

This is why it is important that as a student of English for Academic Purposes, you need to learn to use ‘you and I’ and ‘you and me’ in an acceptable way.

Finally, you might be interested in taking one of these online English courses.

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Ralph Nyadzi is the Director of Studies at Cegast Academy. He is a qualified English tutor with decades of experience behind him. Since 2001, he has successfully coached thousands of High School General Arts WASSCE candidates in English, Literature and related subjects. He combines his expertise with a passion for lifelong learning to guide learners from varying backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. Ralph shares lessons from his blogging journey on BloggingtotheMax. He lives with River, his pet cat, in the Central Region of Ghana.

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