Me, Myself, I

Me, Myself, I – Reflexive Pronouns and how to use them

Ahhhh, reflexive pronouns! I was unfortunate to be away from school for quite some time when I was about 10 years old due to a burst appendix, and I missed all these fabulous parts of speech.

I admit that some of them are still tricky for me to get my mind around, because I missed those months of repeat-after-me lessons by my teacher with a ruler in her hand. Yes, that’s what they used to help us learn way back when! Thank heavens those times have changed … let’s see what we can learn from this lesson in grammar and parts of speech.

Two people wrote in about Reflexive Pronouns :

I myself, You yourself etc

Thank you to Karen Z of Mississauga, Canada [Aug 2001]
and Connie Kozlowski [July 1999] 

So many people and newspapers say :

“John, Sue and myself went to the store.”

Ouch! This sounds as if someone is trying to be polite and they are not sure about whether to use *I* or *me* … perhaps with some misguided sense of false modesty.

My suggestion is always this:  think how you would say the sentence if you removed the other people from it. For example, would you say the sentence above as:

Myself went to the store.”
I *hope* you wouldn’t!
Would you say, “Me went to the store.”
No, of course not.
You’d say, “I went to the store.”

So it should be, “John, Sue and I went to the store.”  This is the correct way to say this statement.

Let’s look at this sentence again:

John, Sue and I went to the store.”

To make sure it is correct, let’s remove John and Sue: and add the word myself [reflexive pronoun]:

I went to the store myself.”

Correct! That’s the way it should look AND sound! So now you can remove the word ‘myself’.


There has to be a noun or pronoun in the subject (in this case “I”) before you can refer back to it with a reflexive pronoun, such as :
myself, himself, herself, themselves.

I can hear you thinking, “D’oh? What does *that* mean?”.

t means, dear friend, that if you are going to use one of these:

myself, himself, herself, themselves

then you MUST use one of these as well, to match it!

I myself, he himself, she herself, they themselves!!


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