Between you and me vs Between you and I

Between you and me, the phrase "between you and I" grates on my ears like nails on a chalkboard. I hear the wrong version about 3 times as often as I hear it said the right way, so let’s get this straightened out once and for all.

Between is a preposition, and in English, a preposition must be followed by an indirect object pronoun. Me is an indirect object pronoun, while I is a subject pronoun. Therefore, between has to be followed by me, not I.

Preposition Correct Incorrect
with She went with me. She went with I.
She went with Bill and me. She went with Bill and I.
to Tom gave it to me. Tom gave it to I.
He wants to talk to you and me. He wants to talk to you and I.
from This is from me. This is from I.
This is from your mom and me. This is from your mom and I.
between This is between Tom and me. This is between Tom and I.
Just between you and me. Just between you and I.

The Bottom Line

The confusion between whether to use me or I may be due to the fact that many people over-correct when it comes to using the pronoun I.

For many of us, we can still hear a parent or teacher saying,

Tom and I went to the store.
Not “Tom and me went to the store.”

In this sentence, I is correct because it’s the subject: I went to the store with Tom = Tom and I went to the store.

This admonition continues to echo in that auto-correct spot of our brains. Consequently, if there is any doubt whatsoever about which pronoun to use, the little sound bite gets activated and we opt for I.

To improve your English and know which pronoun to use, ask yourself whom you are doing this for: I’m doing it for me.

Learn more about the difference between me and I.

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