Monday, February 21, 2011

You and Me/I

You and me.
You and I.

Which of the preceding sentences is correct? If you definitively said that either sentence is correct without using any qualifying statements, then you are wrong.

Both statements have their place in different contexts, but how do you know which to use and when? Many people, especially when they are younger, use "you and me" exclusively. This has lead to many stern corrections that sound like, "It's you and I!!! Raahh!!" The problem is, when you were being scolded, or when you heard someone else being scolded, an explanation didn't accompany the correction. Since you weren't told why it was supposed to be "You and I", you assume that it belongs in every situation. You overgeneralize.

It is also worthy to point out that "You and I" is NOT the formal version of "You and me". You do not sound fancier by using the former; you DO sound like you're trying too hard to sound smart.

So when do you use which? I'll give you the grammar answer first:
  • It's "You and I" when both of you are the subject of the sentence, as in "Remember when you and I read that blog together?".
  • It's "You and me" when both of you are the object of the sentence, as in "Can you believe he directed that insulting blog towards you and me??".
Now, I'll give you the simple way to figure out which to use: drop the other person and use the same personal pronoun you would use if you were the only one in the sentence.
  • "I don't want to sound foolish" becomes "You and I don't want to sound foolish."
  • "Education is good for me" becomes "Education is good for you and me."
Now that you are empowered, perhaps you should go through your photo albums on Facebook and do some editing- because they are all photos of you and me. All of them.