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Prose Parade
Grammar and writing basics

Reflexive Redux

In a previous posting (see Me, Myself and I, Part 3) I fussed about sentences that use the reflexive (pronoun + the word “self”) when they’re not supposed to. Today, it’s quite the opposite: not using it when you must.

For a long time I thought this construction was regional, mostly from the South, but I hear it everywhere now. Here’s an example: “I’m gonna get me a cold drink.” Huh?

Remember what I said in the other posting? Use the reflexive when the sentence’s subject is a personal pronoun (I/myself, you/yourself, he/himself, she/herself, it/itself, we/ourselves, they/themselves). So, it’s not “gonna get me.” it’s “gonna get myself.” The -self word is an indirect object (see Parts of a Sentence) and relates or reflects (hence the term reflexive) on the personal pronoun subject.

Better still don’t use the reflexive in this construction at all. The sentence communicates just fine without the “me.” “I’m gonna get a cold drink.” See?

And could it hurt you to offer a beverage to other people?

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June 28, 2009 um 10:16 am
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