Is it “Me” or “Myself”?

Is it "Me" or "Myself"?
by Jody Calkins

Personal pronouns (i.e., we, your, myself) can be a bit tricky, especially the intensive and reflexive pronouns that end with “self” or “selves”.

The way “myself” is most commonly misused is in a sentence such as, “You can reply by sending an email to Carrie or myself.”

We need to use “me” here instead of “myself” because “Carrie and me” are the objects or recipients of the action taken by someone else (in this case, "you").

When learning which one to use, remember that these intensive and reflexive pronouns (i.e., “myself”) can serve one of two functions. It is either to emphasize and intensify the meaning of something or to turn the action back on the subject of the sentence (or the subject antecedent).

For example, to emphasize the subject, one could write, “I myself am responsible for my own actions” or “John himself will steer the ship through the storm.”

An example of turning the action back on the subject antecedent would be “I laughed at myself” or “he hit himself with his tennis racket”. The subject performs and receives the action.

Which words do you have a hard time keeping straight? I'd love to know so I can feature them in an upcoming post.

Jody Calkins
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