## You and I

Should it be "you and I" or "you and me?" It depends, doesn't it? "You and I eat pizza." But, "They know you and me," and, "They smiled at you and me." And, "The winners are you and I." The difference is nominative case (subject or predicate nominative) "you and I" and objective case (direct object, indirect object, and object of a preposition) "you and me." Does that sound difficult? Actually it is simple. Remove the "you and" to see if "I" or "me" sounds right:

• "I eat pizza," so "You and I eat pizza."
• "They know me," so "They know you and me."
• "They smiled at me," so "They smiled at you and me."
• "The winner is I," (honest) so "The winners are you and I."

That last one (predicate nominative) is often misused with "I" by itself. So of course it is misused with "you and I." Just remember that the predicate nominative may be expressed as an algebraic formula: I=Jim or Jim=I or The winners = you + I. See Who and Whom.

All of the above also applies to other conjuctions: "or," "either . . . or," and "neither . . . nor."

I forgot to mention that the word order is "you and I" (or "you and me"), not "I and you." "You" goes first, and "I" goes last. It is "You, Bill, Mary, and I ate pizza." I suppose there are rare cases when the sentence is clearer with "I" first, and so there may be rare exceptions. But we probably would expand such an exception to make sure it is clear: "I will be there, and maybe you will be there," is better (perhaps) than "I will and you may be there."