Getting Personal

 

Stephen's Grammar Page

 

Confused about personal pronouns? Think that because you are numerically gifted you can forget about the verbal stuff and that grammar is not for you? Think again. Here I am going to use logic to help you remember not to say: to you and I or with you and I or from you and I, which is very distressing to pedants like me and is something that the two of we should avoid.

 

D1 Definition 1. I, you, we, they are the subject forms of the personal pronouns. Me, you, us, them are the object forms.

D2 Definition 2 To, from, with, about, under, over etc are prepositions.

P1 Proposition 1. Pronouns are variables

P2 Proposition 2 Prepositions are operators

P3 Proposition 3 You and I = we. You and me = us

A1 Axiom 1. Prepositions are operators, which when placed in front of pronouns, turn the variable (the pronoun) in question from subject to object form.

Examples: to me and not to I and to us and not to we

A2 Axiom 2 Prepositions obey a distributive law.

Example: I went to Switzerland and Peru = I went to Switzerland and to Peru

 

Theorem. To you and me is good English.

Corollary. To you and I is bad English.

 

First proof. To you and me = to you and to me by A2, which involves no contradiction of A1. To you and I = to you and to I by A2 but this violates A1. Hence to you and me is correct.

 

Second proof To you and me = to us by P3, which involves no contradiction of A1. However, To you and I = to we by P3, which violates A1.

 

QED

 

Thus, if you value simplicity and logic, do me a favour and don't say to you and I.

 

Now remember, between you and me is between the two of us and that is good English but between you and I is between the two of we and that is an abomination.

 

More pedantry will appear when I have the energy.

 

Back to Stephen Senn's homepage