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Myself

Why It Is Important That You and Myself Should Know about This Error

by Owen Fourie

What is this error that we should avoid? It is there in the title.

Myself is a reflexive pronoun that frequently appears in the wrong places.

It should be replaced in the title by the pronoun I.

What is the rule that will help us to use myself correctly?

The rule can be stated in five points:

  1. Myself is a reflexive pronoun.
  2. A reflexive pronoun points back to the subject of a sentence or of a clause.
  3. Myself can never be the subject or a part of the subject.
  4. A reflexive pronoun is intimately related to the subject as one and the same person.
  5. If there is no such subject for its reference point, don’t use a reflexive pronoun.

Using myself incorrectly

In the following sentences, myself is used incorrectly because it does not refer to the subject.

  1. The project was managed by Jared, Todd, and myself.
  2. You and myself should know what is involved in this project.
  3. Jared or myself will have to write the final report.
  4. Jared is an aspiring writer like myself.
  5. Actually, the final report was written by myself.

The sentences are corrected below:

  1. The project was managed by Jared, Todd, and me.
  2. You and I should know what is involved in this project.
  3. Jared or I will have to write the final report.
  4. Jared is an aspiring writer like me.
  5. Actually, the final report was written by me.

Using myself correctly

In the following sentences, myself is used correctly because it does refer to the subject.

  1. I wrote myself a reminder to research two points for the report.
  2. I myself was unsure of these particular points, although Todd had no doubts about them. [Here, myself is being used as an intensive pronoun for emphasis. It is correct, but avoid overuse.]
  3. I had to stop working on the project for a few days while I was ill, but now I am feeling myself again.
  4. I did most of the research myself.
  5. On completing the project, I allowed myself a well-deserved rest.

This rule of usage applies to all reflexive pronouns:

  • myself
  • yourself
  • himself
  • herself
  • itself
  • ourselves
  • yourselves
  • themselves

Is this correct?

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank you for your support.

Yes. In this sentence, myself is one of the objects of the preposition of. It refers to the subject of the main clause, I.

You know, now, why it is important that you and I should know about this rule.

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If there are any points about reflexive pronouns that still puzzle you, please ask here for clarification. Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

Copyright © 2012 by English Essay Writing Tips www.englishessaywritingtips.com


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