Between You And Me

Between You And Me

Writers Write is a comprehensive writing resource. In this post, we tell you why you should always say between you and me.

Between You And Me

A common mistake in English is to say ‘between you and I’, as in this sentence: ‘It’s a bit silly, between you and I.’

I think this is my pet grammar peeve and it seems to be creeping insidiously into the common lexicon, especially in television.

Writers must know that it is always wrong. We should say ‘between you and me’. There are no exceptions to this rule.

  1. It is always correct to say ‘between you and me’.
  2. It is always incorrect to say ‘between you and I’.

Why ‘Me’?

A preposition such as between must be followed by an objective pronoun (such as me, him, her, and us) rather than a subjective pronoun (such as I, he, she, and we). If you say ‘between you and I’ you are saying ‘between him and she’, or ‘between we’. This is clearly incorrect.

Why do people make this mistake?

They know it is wrong to say ‘Sarah and me love going out’. They know it is correct to say ‘Sarah and I love going out’. Most people think the words ‘and me’ should be replaced by ‘and I’ in all cases. This is obviously not the case.

The correct expression is always ‘between you and me’, as in this sentence: ‘It’s a bit silly, between you and me.’

If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read these posts:

  1. 93 Extremely Bad Business Writing Habits To Break
  2. Commonly Confused Abbreviations: etc., i.e., e.g.
  3. How To Deflate Those Inflated Phrases
  4. The 12 Worst Mistakes People Make In Email Subject Lines
  5. The One Essential Email Trick Every Business Writer Should Know
  6. Punctuation For Beginners: What Is Punctuation?
  7. Grammar For Beginners: All About Parts Of Speech

This article has 0 comments

  1. Debby Hanoka

    My mother, as a high school student, learned this lesson the hard way. On an English exam, she wrote “between you an I,” thinking it was grammatically correct. That one mistake earned her a B on the exam instead of an A. She remembered that one point of grammar — and drilled it into me when I was a student — until the day she died.

    When someone in casual conversation makes that mistake, I laugh and say, “Let me tell you a story…”

    Thank you for an informative post, and for helping me remember my mother in a very funny way.

Comments are now closed.