You’ve probably heard of the phrase “you and I” before and heard many native speakers use it regularly, thinking it is always correct. While it sometimes is grammatically correct to use “you and I,” it doesn’t mean it’s 100% correct all the time. There’s actually a straightforward rule to follow to get you and I, or you and me correct, so let’s look at it.
Is It “You And Me” Or “You And I”?
You and me should be used when the phrase or sentence should use “me.” You and I should be used when the phrase or sentence should use “i.” If you were to remove the “you and” part, then the sentence should still make sense no matter which variation you use. “You and me are going to the shops” doesn’t work because removing “you and” turns into “me am going to the shops.” “You and I are going to the shops” is correct because removing “you and” gives us “I am going to the shops.”
That’s pretty much the easiest way to remember it. We’ll explain more about it, as well as a few different exceptions for each word. As you might have noticed in the example above, the phrase “you and I are going to the shops” lost the “are” and turned it into an “am” when we replaced it with I am going to the shops.” You have to make sure you use the correct verb for the pronoun.
What Is The Grammar Rule To Remember?
So, the grammar rule has been covered, but let’s dive deeper into it. The easiest way to explain to most people how this rule works is to tell them to remove the “you and” from the phrase entirely and see if it still makes sense. Over time, you’ll get used to how each phrase would sound and end up naturally using the correct form without worrying too much about removing “you and.”
The phrase “somewhere for you and me to go” is correct because if we remove “you and” we’re left with “somewhere for me to go.” Great. That’s how the language rule works. Similarly, “you and I can’t be out too late” becomes “I can’t be out too late” in the same manner. To help with your understanding even more, “you and I” usually comes at the start of a sentence, while “you and me” come at the end of a clause.
The rules are applied throughout the English language. If we use a subjective pronoun like “I,” we’ll always place it at the start of a sentence for it to make sense (or at least the start of a clause, since words like “hopefully” or “because” can come before it). Then we have the objective pronoun “me,” which is usually reserved for the end of a clause (you’ll never see it at the start because it doesn’t belong there).
Interestingly, many native speakers make a mistake between which one to use regularly. It’s known as a hypercorrection, where they correct something to be incorrect grammatically to try and avoid a different rule in the language. Since people are taught “you and I” in some situations, they automatically assume that it is always the correct way to write it, which is wrong. If you can learn this, you’ll have better familiarity with one of the most common language rules than most native speakers have.
Is It “Between You And Me” Or “Between You And I”?
The phrase “between you and me” gets a little harder. Many people believe the same rules should apply, and thus “between you and I” is a correct phrase. However, this is not the case. In fact, it’s never correct to use “between you and I.” If you’re going to say the phrase at all, you have to say “between you and me” if you want to make sure you’re correct every time.
The subject of the verb will always be taken by the subjective pronoun, which means “I,” is used in this sense. However, to work “between” into a sentence, you have to make sure it is an object and not a verb subject. For this reason, the objective pronoun “me” is the only way you can write “between you and me.” If anyone tells you otherwise, you should refer them to this article to help them out!
9 Examples Of How To Use “You And Me” In A Sentence
We’ve explained most of what we know about the rules between you and I or you and me, and we think we’ve got you convinced. However, just to double down on your newfound knowledge, we’re going to help you out with some examples. Using these examples, you’ll be able to see how the phrases are used in different situations. We’ll start with “you and me” and move on after that.
- She loves my sister and me.
- They wanted to see my brother and me.
- They stopped my mother and me from going further.
- They told my father and me to buy it.
- The ice cream man was generous to my friend and me.
- Could you take a picture of my friends and me?
- Have they seen you and me dance?
- My father is hiding from my mother and me.
- The classroom was empty except for my teacher and me.
See how the word “you” can be replaced by any other person in the conversation in each of these examples. It’s also good to notice that each example shows “you and me” towards the end of the phrase, and it’s never present at the start. This is because of how the objective pronoun works. You’ll always need to set up the object before you can use it in this manner. It’s helpful to remember it this way.
9 Examples Of How To Use “You And I” In A Sentence
Now let’s check how “you and I” is used in examples. Most of the time, “you and I” is used at the start of each example rather than at the end. If you remember this throughout your time learning the language, you’ll be setting yourself up for plenty of success! We’ll replace “you” with a few different people again so that you can see how to use it no matter who you’re talking about.
- My sister and I couldn’t find our mother.
- My brother and I are playing video games.
- My mother and I are cooking the family dinner.
- My father and I play catch all the time.
- My friend and I went to the theater together.
- My girlfriend and I just got home.
- You and I need to have a chat.
- You and I can’t help them anymore.
- My teacher and I stayed in the classroom to study.
As we’ve mentioned previously, “you and I” is always used at the start of the sentence. Even if you’re using a different character like “my mother” or “my brother,” you’ll still write them in at the start of the sentence. Make sure you do this every time.
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Tip To Remember When To Use “You And I” Or “You And Me”
What tips do we recommend to anyone stuck trying to remember this language rule? Well, as we said, if you can learn this quickly, you’ll be ahead of many native speakers already. Too many native English speakers don’t understand this rule. The easiest tip we can give you is to remove “you and” every time you use it in your head. That way, you can check which pronoun is going to make the most sense.
Say the sentence in your head when you’re thinking about it. We’ll use “you and me are going shopping” as an example. Say it once, then remove “you and” and repeat it. “Me am going shopping.” Okay, you know that doesn’t work. So, try to swap it to “you and I are going shopping” and remove the “you and.” “I am going shopping” does work. Now you know you’ve used the right pronoun for the sentence!
It really is that simple! Most people struggle with it because they’re worried about making a language rule mistake that doesn’t even exist. Native speakers sometimes believe “you and I” to always be correct, but this is not the case.
Quiz: Have You Mastered The “You And Me” Or “You And I” Grammar?
A quiz will help you bolster all your knowledge and see how much you’ve learned from this article. We’re going to give you some questions and multiple choice answers. Ensure you read through the sentence first before answering to make sure you know which phrase to use! Check your answers at the end to see how you did, too.
- (A. you and me / B. you and I) need to talk.
- Can you stop pestering (A. my friend and me / B. my friend and I).
- (A. my mother and me / B. my mother and I) love him very much.
- Where are you taking (A. my brother and me / B. my brother and I)?
- Hopefully, (A. you and me / B. you and I) will be safe.
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.