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Prose Parade
Grammar and writing basics

Me, Myself and I, Part 3

Ok, now we come to “myself.” I don’t know why people use it instead of “I” or “me,” but they do. For example, “Those tickets are for myself and Robert.” No, they’re not. They’re for “me and Robert.” Well, actually, they’re for “Robert and me.” but who’s counting? Or “Myself and Robert went to the concert.” Nah. “Robert and I went to the concert.”

Now, hang on to your hats. There is a rule for when to use “myself” and all the other selves. It starts by identifying those words that have the suffix “-self” or “-selves” as reflexive pronouns. That means the “-self” refers to someone. Ah ha! So, if it refers to someone, then that someone’s identity has to appear somewhere before the “-self.” Get it? For example, “I rewired the house myself.” Look! “Myself refers to “I.” (BTW, if you think I can rewire a house, be prepared to see a blazing fire and my house in cinders.) The “I” has to come before the “myself.” So, it’s “he himself,” she herself,” etc.

The “-self”s can also be used for emphasis. For example, “I myself rewired the house.” That shows how a big a deal it is. (Not how big OF a deal, but we’ll deal with that one later.)

So, no more “myself” as subject of the sentence even if you think it sounds more polite. It ain’t polite, and it ain’t grammatically correct. If the sentence doesn’t start with one of the personal pronouns (I, me, you, it, we, they) or a proper noun (capital letter time), then don’t use “-self.” Period.

« Me, Myself and I, Part 2 – Toward/Towards »

May 30, 2009 um 2:00 pm
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