Just about every week, someone asks us, "Is it 'you and I' or 'you and me'?" Well, if the question is phrased that way, there could only be one legitimate answer:

For some strange reason, many people are under the impression that only one of those is ever right. One of the points of this article is to disabuse people of such erroneous thinking.

The truth is that both “you and me” and “you and I” can be grammatically correct. Which one you need depends on what you’re trying to say.

The Interwebs are rife with misuse of “you and I” and “you and me,” a situation that is exacerbated by the fact that both Lady Gaga and One Direction have had hit songs called “You and I.”

Let’s look at One Direction’s “You and I”:

Both songs got it wrong. Here’s why:

Therefore, if “you and I” are performing the action, it should be “you and I”:

  • You and I are best friends.
  • You and I are supposed to work together.
  • You and I crossed the finish line at the same time.

If “you and I” are receiving the action, it should be “you and me”:

  • The teacher picked you and me as study partners.
  • My parents will give you and me a ride to school today.
  • John promised to take you and me to Disneyland.

If this isn’t clear to you yet, there are easier ways to understand it:

1. Prepositions

If something is happening at, for, with, by, to, from, between, beside, against, on, in, etc. someone, we need to use me (or him, her, us, them). For example,

  • Those jerks laughed at you and me when we slipped and fell.
  • Mom baked these cookies for you and me.
  • Let’s keep this embarrassing secret between you and me.

2. The Cross-It-Out Method

Cross out everything that comes before “I” or “me.” For example,

Whenever you hear questionable lyrics (in terms of grammar), check with us or anyone else you trust.

After all,

Sorry, Niall.