This was posted on facebook and people are saying it is incorrect, it should be: "...as you and I"

Which is correct?

facebook poster

  • 3
    As long as the sentence ends there, it can end with either you and me or you and I. If it continued, there might be other rules invoked. Jul 9 '14 at 19:37
  • You assume that one of those is “correct” and one of those is not. Language doesn’t really work that way. Certainly both occur in the wild, which really is about as much as you can hope to say. This is an ancient argument, and you will never convince anyone of one persuasion to change their mind about what they are certain is “correct”. But you might care to consider this.
    – tchrist
    Jul 9 '14 at 20:33
  • 1
    This question is possibly off-topic as it is too simples. Jul 9 '14 at 21:20
  • 1
    Related to the point of being a duplicate in which the same issues apply: english.stackexchange.com/q/3447.
    – tchrist
    Jul 10 '14 at 16:48
  • By the way, what is the name of this cute animal. In German it is Erdmännchen, but my dictionary does not have it.
    – rogermue
    Jul 12 '15 at 12:59

John Lawler is right when he says "as long as the sentence ends here it can end with either me or I".

When the sentence goes on with a verb form only "I" is right. The question is what was originally the correct case. I suppose the correct case was subject case. At some time the manner came up to use the object case me instead of the subject case I when the pronoun stood alone, just as French uses moi when it is alone. The weak form je (I) can be used only before a verb form.

It is difficult to prove that we have French influence, but the idea is not far-fetched. Anyway, when standing alone both subject case and object case are possible. And the repeated discussion about this topic (200 posts on ELU) show that the feeling for subject case and object after "as/than" is getting lost when the pronoun is standing alone. I am German and I'm watching this phenomenon with a kind of astonishment as in German no one would ever say "als mich" (as me). But, of course, English is not German.

I tried to ask the BNC about this problem. I wanted to know which of the two possibilities (as I or as me, standing alone) is more frequent in written English. But my knowledge about the way of formulating and typing the question, so that I only get incidents without a verb form, is not sufficient. But perhaps someone else has more experience.

Google ngrams shows that "as me" is a bit more frequent than "as I".

Ngram as I

Ngram as me


I have as much right as you. You have as much right as me. You and I have as much right as them. They have as much right as you and me. You have as much right as I do. They have as much right as you and I do.

As a rule: Remove the 'you and' part and decide what you would say. You would say animals have the same rights as me, not animals have the same rights as I. The text displayed in the image is correct.

  • 1
    Some would say that other animals have the same rights as you and I have. But good luck getting their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness universally recognized. :(
    – tchrist
    Jul 9 '14 at 20:49

Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me. DEFINITELY NOT CORRECT! The proper form would be, "Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and I," which is short for, "Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and I have." I believe that the term for such shortenings is ellipsis.

Special note: I could wish that the sage who downvoted this answer would make a better person of me by explaining to me in what way my answer was incorrect or otherwise inappropriate. Or perhaps the downvoter downvotes because someone confiscated his matches. Teach me, Master!

  • I'm not the sage who first downvoted your answer, but I did downvote it because it is factually and demonstrably incorrect. There is absolutely nothing in English that makes “as you and I/me” necessarily a shortening of any construction with a following verb. As is a preposition, and prepositions take their objects in the objective case if they have one, which personal pronouns do. In some cases, it is even impossible to expand to a verbal construction, and in those cases, the subjective form is, as far as I know, universally avoided; e.g., “better you than me” (not “*better you than I”). Jul 12 '15 at 12:59
  • @Janus Babs Jacquet \\ I persist in my opinion. "As" is a subordinating conjunction; as such, some degree of parallelism is to be expected between its two sides. To use the "you and me" formulation would mean that the writer considers "as" to be a preposition, but the sense of the sentence would seem to militate against that construction. Jul 12 '15 at 19:23
  • As is both a conjunction and a preposition; the sense of the sentence is a semantic concept that doesn't really say anything about the syntactic makeup of the sentence (and also doesn't in any way militate for or against conjunction or preposition). The fact remains that perceiving as as a preposition in this context (with a non-clause following) is at least as common as (and probably a lot more common than) perceiving it as a conjunction throughout the entire Anglosphere. That alone makes it incontrovertibly correct in normal, spoken English. Jul 12 '15 at 19:32
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet \\ Are you the same person who, a couple of comments ago, categorically consigned "as" to the proposition bin? I still wonder about the proposition thingy: Exactly what sort of time/space relationship does the proposition "as" express, anyway? Do you seriously contend that it is a rare thing for a verb in a subordinate clause to be lopped off for the sake of brevity in normal speech? Jul 13 '15 at 0:36
  • I said it doesn't necessarily have to be a cut-off verbal clause and that as is a preposition (as well as a conjunction). Who says prepositions have to express time/space relationships? The basic function of as as a preposition is to express essive semantics. And what's all this about propositions? Jul 13 '15 at 6:13

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