There have been many questions on this exchange about when to use phrases such as "John and I" vs. "John and me". The answer seems to be you that you use "John and I" when they are the subject of the verb and "John and me" when they are the object of the verb. However, sometimes it isn't so clear. For example, consider the following sentence

"A collaboration, between John and I, would lead to close friendship"

In this sentence, I think the subject is the actual collaboration (not John and I) and the object is the friendship. So what is the proper usage in this case, where "John and I" is neither the subject nor the object?

Obviously this question is not a duplicate of any question asking about the use of "you" and "I" that doesn't contain rules for special prepositions such as "between".

  • The subject is "A collaboration between John and I", where "me" is probably more common that I. The NP "close friendship" is complement of the preposition "to". – BillJ Sep 18 '17 at 10:56
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    I think the answer is 'me'. One would say 'A collaboration with me would help John'. You wouldn't say 'A collaboration with I...' would you? – WS2 Sep 18 '17 at 11:54
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    It's indeed the object of the preposition. The thing to remember is that the objective form is the default case in English, even if it's not being used as an object. But here it actually is. – tchrist Sep 18 '17 at 12:27
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    @sumelic clearly not a duplicate because of the last clause of the sentence, this is specifically about sentences with special prepositions that aren't referred to in that question. – WetlabStudent Sep 18 '17 at 22:50
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    From a prescriptivist perspective, prepositions are "supposed" to govern the objective case; there is nothing special about "between" that licences the use of subjective case – herisson Sep 18 '17 at 23:02

It would indeed generally depend on whether or not the first person was the subject or object of the verb, but your example brings forth another grammatical rule with the preposition "between" which always takes "me" after "and" when the first person is referred to. "Between you and me" is correct but "between you and I" and "between me and you" are not.

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    There's nothing wrong with "between me and you". – BillJ Sep 18 '17 at 13:41
  • I'm inclined to agree with @BillJ here. "Between you and me" is favored because of etiquette (putting the other person before yourself), but "between me and you" is equally valid from a grammatical point of view. – Flater Sep 18 '17 at 15:46
  • "Me and you, and you and me / No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be" youtube.com/watch?v=eAnBbgl2RrY – Malvolio Sep 18 '17 at 23:08

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