You and I vs. you and me

It seems many of us are still reeling from elementary school teachers who overcorrected use of the pronoun I. How many times did you hear a knitted-sweatered, thin-lipped woman of authority say, “It’s ‘May Johnny and I go to the restroom, not Johnny and me.’”

As a result, many people think me is never appropriate when it actually is. If this is a problem you struggle with, don’t worry. You’re in good company. I hear and I used incorrectly more than I hear it used correctly. In this post I’ll teach you a simple trick to figure out when to use I or me.

Is this sentence correct?

I made dinner reservations for Rex and I.

Incorrect. In this sentence it should be Rex and me. But how can you tell?

Hint: To find out whether to use I or me, simply drop the name or pronoun that goes before and and the word and. Then see if the sentence makes sense. Let’s look at the example again.

I made dinner reservations for Rex and I.

Now drop Rex and.

I made dinner reservations for I.



Now this sentence sounds wrong, so you know it should be me. Let’s fix it.

I made dinner reservations for Rex and me.

Bingo! Now it’s correct. Let’s try another one.

Rex and me are going to the Renaissance festival.

Drop Rex and.

Me is going to the Renaissance festival.

This sounds wrong, so you know it should be I.

Rex and I are going to the Renaissance festival.

Between you and me
The phrase between you and me is often said incorrectly as between you and I. Between is a preposition, and me is used with prepositions. Here are more prepositions with me:

with: Rex walked with you and me.
to: Rex gave the present to you and me.
from: The letter is from you and me.
between: Between you and me, I think Rex is cute.

If you see a preposition, you know you should use me.

Test your skills with this quiz. Fill in the blank with either I or me. The answers are at the bottom.

1. Sandra and _______ are good friends.
2. Would you like to go to the party with Sandra and _______?
3. The flowers are for my mom and _______.
4. Between you and _______, I’m ready for the weekend.
5. She set the appointment for Sandra and _______.
6. May Rex and ______ go to lunch with you?
7. Rex and _______ want to treat you to lunch.

1. I 2. me 3. me 4. me 5. me 6. I 7. I

Between you and me, Erin Servais will be excited to learn about your next book project. Learn how to hire her to be your editor:

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