Between You and I or Me?
The Quick Answer"Between you and I" might sound scholarly, but it is always wrong.
You must say "between you and me."
"Between you and I" is wrong because the word "I" cannot be the object of a preposition. (NB: The word "between" is a preposition.)
"Between You and I" or "Between You and Me"?This is a really quick lesson. The term "between you and I" is always wrong. Use "me."
Why Is "Between You and I" Wrong?The word "between" is a preposition. A preposition sits before a noun or a pronoun to show its relationship to something else in the sentence. The noun or pronoun after a preposition is called the object of the preposition. The object of a preposition is always in the objective case. The word "I" is in the subjective case. Therefore, it cannot be the object of a preposition. For example:
- Between you and I, it's a farce.
- Between you and me, it's a farce.
"Between You and I" Is Always Wrong
"Between you and I" is always wrong.
Pronouns in the Subjective and Objective CasesHere is a list of the personal pronouns in their pure state (the subjective case) and their oblique state (the objective case).
|Subjective Case||Objective Case||I||Me||You||You||He / She / It||Him / Her / It||We||Us||You||You||They||Them||Who||Whom|
Pronouns after prepositions must be in the objective case. You cannot keep them in the subjective case. Therefore, saying "between you and I" is as bad as saying "with we," "by they," or "to she." (Obviously, these should be "with us," "by them," and "to her.")
But "Between you and I" Sounds Scholarly"Between you and I" sounds right to lots of native English speakers. For many, it feels more scholarly than "between you and me." That's no excuse though. It's wrong.
Using words that sound more scholarly causes other errors too. The most notable one is when people use "myself instead of "me." For example:
- Contact either myself or your manager.
- Contact either me or your manager.
"My Wife and I"This grammar point affects terms like "my wife and I." This term can only be used when it's the subject of a verb (i.e., in the subjective case). For example:
- My wife and I sent you a parcel. (This is fine. "My wife and I" is the subject of the verb "sent.")
- It is a parcel from my wife and I. (This is wrong. "My wife and I" is now the object of the preposition "from," so "I" must be wrong.)
- It is a parcel from me and my wife. (This is now correct. Note that native English speakers prefer the word order "me and my wife" because "my wife and me" grates on the ear. This also contributes to people opting for "from my wife and I .")