‘You and me’ and ‘you and I’ are both correct. They key is knowing when to use one personal pronoun, or the other.
Personal pronouns in English have one form (I, he, she, we, they) when they are used as the subject of a sentence, and another form (me, him, her, us, them) when they are used as the object of a verb, or follow a preposition (with me, after us, etc.).
This applies to all personal pronouns, as listed above, except ‘you’ and ‘it’ which remain the same in both subject and object forms. So whether you say ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’ in co-ordinate phrases depends on whether they function as subjects or objects in the sentence:
- You and I should go on holiday together.
- I’d like to book a holiday for you and me.
Use the pronoun I, along with other subjective pronouns such as we, he, she, you, and they when the pronoun is the subject of a verb:
- He went to work.
- We waited for the taxi.
- Sam and I are going on holiday.
In the last example, the pronoun I, together with the proper noun Sam, forms the subject of the sentence, so you need to use ‘I’ rather than ‘me’.
Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them, when the pronoun is the object of a verb:
- Sarah helped them.
- The dog followed John and me to the door.
In the last example, the pronoun me, together with the proper noun John, forms the object of the verb follow, so you need to use ‘me’ rather than ‘I’.
Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them, when the pronoun is the object of a preposition:
- Helen spent the day with me and Jake.
Me together with Jake, forms the object of the preposition with, so you need to use the pronoun me rather than the pronoun I.
An easy way of making sure you’ve picked the right pronoun is to see whether the sentence reads properly if you remove the additional noun:
- I am going on holiday
- The dog followed me to the door
- Helen spent the day with me
It’s important to realise that in colloquial/informal British English, people often use ‘you and me’ as subjects, even though it is known to be incorrect. This has led to an assumption that ‘you and me’ can never be correct, hence people tend to use ‘you and I’ as objects instead of the correct form ‘you and me’.
To make it easier for yourself, keep a clear distinction between them, as the same rule applies to other personal pronouns i.e. it’s ‘she and I’ when they are the subject of the clause, and ‘her and me’ when they are the object:
- Do you remember Sam? Well, he and I are organising a college reunion!
- They can show it to her or me when the design is ready.
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