Agreement of preposition with pronoun

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A problem with the grammar in English comes with pronouns. In a couple of its more common forms, does one say "between you and I" or "between you and me"? (the latter); and "Why is it frowned on to say 'Me and her went to the cinema last night'?" The explanation has to be quite technical, but the rule of thumb for using two pronouns is simple: think of the sentence with only one. Few adult English speakers would say "Me went out last night"; the natural construction is "I went out" (and "she went out").

(It can be difficult to think of using only one pronoun after 'between', which may be at the heart of 'between you and I': think of another preposition, like 'from'. Few mature native English speakers would say "This is a present from we"; it is natural to say "This is a present from us". The same applies to 'between': "Let's keep it a secret between us", and "Between you and me" are the acceptable forms in formal English.)

The technical explanation depends on an understanding of grammatical case. You can see the direct application of that to pronouns in AWE's Table of personal pronouns.

The rule is that a pronoun after a preposition should be in the objective case. Some problems arise because of confusion with another rule: that a pronoun used as the Subject of a verb should be in the subjective form - "I [not "me] did it." Part of the problem comes from hypercorrection - people apply the rule about using the subjective form for subject to using it as the complement of a preposition, where it is incorrect.

After a preposition, the objective form of pronouns, like me, her and him is always correct in formal English - although some dialects have other usages - rather than the subjective 'I', 'she' and 'he'. This is true even after the word 'and', which should make no difference to grammatical usage. Say "between you and me", not "between you and I; "between us"; "for him and her", etc.

It also applies to the preposition than, when it is used for comparing pronouns. "I like her more than him" is correct; but when than is a conjunction and the pronoun is the subject of a verb, use the subjective form - "She is cleverer than he is" is as acceptable in British English as "She is cleverer than him." (Microsoft, and US English generally, may not wholly agree.)