Is It “You and Me” or “You and Me”?

Sometimes, no matter how a person pours out their soul, if you get it wrong with grammar, that’s all someone will remember. It was the time I wrote this post on how to decide when you’re done having children , in which I shared my own experiences as a mother of one child, a former foster parent, and a woman who had two miscarriages.

A man (let’s call him Daniel because his name is) read this post and wrote to me to say:

I just stumbled upon “the question hanging over my husband and me,” and I had to cringe.

Please, for the sake of your readers, distinguish between “I” and “I” – in this case you wanted to write “over my husband and me”, meaning that the question is hanging over your husband and over you at the same time. time. If you really need to write “through me and my husband,” try adding “easily helped him get through this with a fresh coffee pot.” In this case, you will become the subject of this new clause and will not depend on some “more”, “less” or “about”, all of which require the word “me”.

It should be somewhere in Strunk & White, but now I don’t have it.

Otherwise, I really like your articles!

It was difficult for me to read this email with all commas and periods outside the quotes, but I went ahead and took his point of view into account. To begin with, I was somewhat amused that “fresh coffee” could easily help my husband come to some conclusion about our not-so-growing family. (This is something we haven’t tried, and it’s hard not to regret it now.) But second, Daniel was right — and as someone who writes grammar posts a lot , it’s fair to correct my own grammatical inconsistencies.

(He also said he liked my articles, which I liked. Thanks, Daniel; I promise to do more.)

The simple rule that I have always used for this – and for some reason did not apply in this case – is that “… and I” are correct wherever you would simply use “I” and “… and I “is correct wherever you would simply use” I “. This is because “I” is the subject pronoun (the thing that performs the action in the sentence) and the “I” is the object pronoun (the thing with which the action occurs), and they are used as such regardless of whether they stand alone or are part of the phrase.

Therefore, we must say, “Can you make room for my friends and me,” and not “my friends and me,” because I and my friends are the object of this proposal. And we would say, “You and I will be late,” because you and I are a subject.

Then why do some of us still get it wrong from time to time? Why is it that sometimes a grammatically incorrect phrase such as “between you and me” actually sounds more correct than its grammatically correct version, “ between you and me ”? Here’s what linguist James Harbeck writes for The Week :

If it’s that simple, why can’t so many people get it right? These same people would never say, “Take a picture of me” or “Give me.” They have an automatic understanding of the rules of English subject and object forms … with the exception of compound nouns.

This is not indicative of the dire state of English language learning. People, often quite literate, have done this for centuries. Over 400 years ago, Shakespeare had a character from The Merchant of Venice saying, “All debts are settled between you and me.” His contemporary Ben Johnson wrote the line: “Masco was with me and my cousin this whole day” in Every Man in His Humor . There are plenty of examples in the meantime. The obvious fact is that this simple rule does not automatically apply, even if you grow up speaking English. It needs to be learned, and not everyone learns it.

So now we have found out.

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