Between you and I

As a non native speaker, this expression feels so wrong, as I is the pronoun used for a subject, or nominative case, while “me” should be used for the other cases.

So, “between me and you” or “between you and me” makes sense…

I noticed this expression a few weeks ago watching a TV show, and I simply thought it was an error, maybe an over-correction, but since then I have heard it multiple times, so I am wondering if I have the rules wrong myself.

It is not like we don’t have this kind of “so common they are a rule now” mistakes embedded in Italian.

So… is this an accepted expression?

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Yes - it is common in spoken English. Technically it should be me. This says even Shakespeare used I for this, but frustratingly does not give the reference…


Hi @mike-lima and you are quite right about “Between you and I” being wrong. Unfortunately it is something English people still battle to get right, particularly with the introduction of “myself” to make it even muddier.

We were taught to split the sentence which then shows it as “Between you” and “Between me” - you just couldn’t say “Between I”.

“Come to dinner with Johnny and I” doesn’t work either. “Come to dinner with Johnny” and “Come to dinner with I” - no way. It clearly wants us to say “… Johnny and me”. Unfortunately many feel it more polite to say I instead of me, but it doesn’t always work.

“Myself and her asked him to dinner” would correctly be “She and I asked him to dinner” using the split-sentence method. But then we have “Me and him were going on holiday” instead of “He and I were going on holiday”. Nowadays ppl say “Me and Johnny…” because it’s quicker and less formal. It all depends on what sort of English we want to learn and use.

Sorry to rattle on, perhaps you’ve guessed that this is one of my pet “things”! At school I managed a 1% in Maths if I was lucky, but absolutely loved English.

A dopo…:wink:


Hi @JmGb This is so helpful and explains it fully. Have a good evening!


Just wish they’d provided the Shakespeare reference. I’m okay with saying between you & me but I’d never write it…


Thank you both for your answer.

@Floria7 may have noticed That in colloquial Italian as well, sometimes “me” or “te” replaces the correct “io” or “tu”. It would be considered an error in writing, but it is tolerated in informal speech, maybe as a kind of regionalism (in fact at least in the Ligurian dialects/language there is a single word for “tu” and “te” and “ti” (they all conflate in “ti”).

The other one that tripped me was in comparison, i.e. “older than me/I”. In Italian it is easy, because the construct used the common preposition “di”, so the non-subject form must be used, but in English, “than” is often considered a conjunction only, not a preposition, so you should think “than I am”.

@JmGb I found a reference here it appears to be in “The Merchant of Venice”:


Ciao @mike-lima Technically it should be “Older than I” (I am) but most ppl would say “older than me”.

Ah, Mr Shakespeare, now that is “another kettle of fish” altogether, “un altro paio di maniche” :wink: If one used Shakespearian in this day and age, people would walk away very quickly although one of our funniest TV comedies was called “Upstart Crow” and used made-up Skakespearian language.

Language is fascinating no?


Thanks for this! That figures: I have read at least 19 Shakespeare plays, but not that particular one.