Grammar, Learning English

You and Me? You and I? Him and Her? Putting Two Pronouns Together

Can you tell which of the sentences below are grammatically correct and which ones are not?

1. You and I have been friends for a long time.

2. You and me have been friends for a long time.

3. Me and her went to the park.

4. This money is for you and me to buy ice cream.

5. What did you hear about him and I?

6. She and I took the dog for a walk.

Sentence #1, Sentence #4, and Sentence #6 are grammatically correct. The others are incorrect because there are issues with either a subject pronoun or an object pronoun. These kinds of mistakes are common among native and non-native English speakers alike. In fact, some of them are so common (especially in spoken English) that no one even notices the mistake!

Subject pronouns and object pronouns

In a recent article, we looked at the difference between subject pronouns and object pronouns. We won’t repeat all of that information here, but in the table below, you will find a refresher.

Subject PronounsObject Pronouns
I, he, she, we, they, whome, him, her, us, them, whom
These are used when someone does something, feels something, thinks something, or is in a certain state of being.These are used when someone is having something done to them or for them. They are not performing the action themselves.

The pronouns “you” and “it” can fall into either category. The confusion often sets in when “you” is used with one of the pronouns in the table.

Let’s look at our first two example sentences again…

You and I have been friends for a long time.

You and me have been friends for a long time.

Why is the first sentence correct, while the second one is incorrect? When two people are friends, this is a state of being, so we would use subject pronouns rather than object pronouns. Since “you” is correct either way, let’s see what happens if we move it to a different part of the sentence.

I have been friends with you for a long time. (This sounds pretty good.)

Me have been friends with you for a long time. (Now that we have moved “you”, it’s pretty obvious that this sentence doesn’t sound right.)

Another trick you can try is to substitute “you and I” or “you and me” with “we” or “us”.

We have been friends for a long time.

Us have been friends for a long time.

If “we” can be used in the sentence, then “you and I” is correct. However, if “us” sounds right, then “you and me” is correct.

Is “you and me” ever correct, or is it always “you and I”?

Yes, “you and me” can be correct if they are used as object pronouns. Look for sentences where the “me” is not the subject of the sentence. The “me” (and the “you” that goes with it) would be on the receiving end of some type of action or feeling.

Let’s look at an example:

George left the files for you and me to read.

Here, the subject of the sentence is “George”. He is the one who left the files. The people represented by the pronouns “you and me” are on the receiving end of George’s action.

Let’s give it the “we” and “us” test just to be sure.

George left the files for we to read. (Nope!)

George left the files for us to read. (Yep! The object pronoun belongs here.)

More “you and I” and “you and me” examples

To make all of this clearer, here is another table with similar pairs of sentences. For the ones on the left, we use subject pronouns while for the ones on the right we use object pronouns.

You and IYou and me
You and I are going on a trip.Cancun is a fun place for you and me to take a trip.
When you and I finish reading the files, we need to send them back to George.George wants you and me to send back the files.
You and I have permission to leave work early.The boss gave you and me permission to leave work early.

What about other pronouns?

Although “you and I” and “you and me” tend to be the more frequently mixed-up pronouns, sometimes people get confused about other pronouns. Again, knowing the difference between subject pronouns and object pronouns can help you make sure you’re using these words correctly.

Let’s go back to the two other incorrect examples from the beginning of this article and look at why they are incorrect.

Me and her went to the park.

“Me and her” are both object pronouns, but these two people are the subject of the sentence. If you read the sentence aloud using just one pronoun at a time—”Me went to the park” and “Her went to the park”—it’s more obvious that these are not the correct pronouns.

Let’s try this with subject pronouns:

I went to the park.

She went to the park.

That sounds a lot better! Now let’s put the two sentences together:

I and she went to the park.

Oops! Now it sounds awkward again. When “I” and “me” are used with other pronouns, the other pronoun should come first. Let’s try that here:

She and I went to the park.

Yay, we have a winner! This sentence is correct.

When you pair a subject pronoun with an object pronoun…

We will now move on to Sentence #5 from our examples at the beginning of this article:

What did you hear about him and I?

Let’s try the same trick we used with “me and her” and see what happens.

What did you hear about him? (This is correct, so “him” is not the problem with this sentence.)

What did you hear about I? (This is incorrect, so we need to change “I” to “me”.)

What did you hear about me? (Yes, this sounds much better.)

Now let’s put them together:

What did you hear about him and me?

The problem with the original Sentence #5 was that it pairs an object pronoun (“him”) with a subject pronoun (“I”). Whenever this happens, one pronoun will be correct while the other one will be incorrect. In this case, the two people are not the ones who are hearing anything; something is being heard about them. Thus, we would use two object pronouns.

If you are still not sure about how to write these types of sentences—or if you are dealing with sentences that are more complex than the examples used in this article—click the blue box below. Our TextRanch editors will help you get on the right track.

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4 Replies to You and Me? You and I? Him and Her? Putting Two Pronouns Together

    1. That would be a topic for a separate article, but thanks for the idea. We are always looking for new ideas for our blog articles, so we welcome your suggestions. 🙂

  1. Thank you very much for this poston subject and object pronouns. However, when I worked for NISSAN in the UK, in response to my “How are you?” I heard quite often “Lovely, and yourself?”
    Is it correct to say so?

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