Dear Lady Gaga, Yoü And I has effed it up for English speakers everywhere.
Referring to the self and the other(s)? Using “you and I” or “xxx and I” is literally, yes literally, not always correct. Because grammar.
Somewhere along the way, did everyone decide that “me and you” sounds too… hick? Yes, y’all, there are times when you should use “you and me”, and it’s not only when Lighthouse outplays Lady Gaga.
GRAMMAR HACK: Split the sentence into two. Does it sound right — or rather, is it grammatically correct — with “me” or “I”? There you go!
When to use “you and I”
You and I can have a beer after lockdown.
✓ Who’s raging for an acai bowl? You and I are. (You are. I am. Together we are. The “are” is not optional in this case)
When to use “you and me”
✓ Between you and me, she’s the one pulling the strings.
But don’t forget “me and…”
Yes, please put yourself first.
This — syntax, I mean, not self-prioritising — is something we all learned in primary school, but lots of us lost our grasp of using “me and xxx” over the years.
✓ Who’s raging for an ice cold beer? Me and you. (Me. You. Us)
✓ Please give me and my team a day get to the bottom of this. (Please let me get to the bottom of this. Please let my team get to the bottom of this)
✓ Three large bubble teas for me and my friends please. (Three bbt for me. But not me alone, that would be too louche. They’re also for my friends. 50% sugar, thanks.)
✘ Two margaritas for Jolene and I please. (Noooooo. Margaritas are just syrup and empty calories! And you don’t go round saying, “A shot of tequila for I”, amirite??)
✘ This gym membership will be so great for you and I! (No hot bod for I!)