Me vs Myself

Me, myself, and I may refer to the same person, but they are not interchangeable. Myself should be the one you hear the least, but it’s often used incorrectly in place of me.

Me

Me is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to whom a preposition refers.

They want me to study more.

Tell me a story.

Between you and me, he’s right.

Carol wants to meet with John and me tomorrow.

The book was written entirely by me.

Please call Hillary or me with any questions.

 
Myself

Myself is a reflexive or stressed pronoun, which means that, generally speaking, it should be used in conjunction with the subject pronoun I, not instead of the object pronoun me.

I bought myself a car.

I myself started the company.

I did the laundry by myself.

I feel like myself again.

Tired of waiting, I just did it myself.

 
The Bottom Line

Myself can be used for stress, but most grammarians won’t allow it to be used alone – they reject constructions like “Carol wants to meet with John and myself” (correct: with John and me) and “The book was written entirely by myself” (correct: by me personally).

Just remember that myself can be reflexive (I’m doing something to/for myself) or emphatic (I myself). Otherwise, you probably want to use me.

 
Related Lesson

17 comments for “Me vs Myself

  1. Tony S.
    14 November 2014 at 11:38

    The correct way to write “Carol wants to meet with John and myself” is “Carol wants to meet with John and I,” right?

    • lkl
      14 November 2014 at 12:28

      No. “With” is a preposition, and you can’t use I after a preposition. The correct sentence is “Carol wants to meet with John and me.” See http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/blog/english-mistakes/i-vs-me/ for more info.

      • Yai
        12 February 2015 at 09:04

        Oh no!… I just emailed a response via email and said: “I will ask Tom and the Controller if they will be available to attend. If not, it will only be myself”. Based on your replies, my response was totally incorrect :(

    • Betsy MD
      18 November 2014 at 11:08

      No, the correct would be: “Carol wants to meet with John and me”
      If you take John out of the sentence, it would not be “Carol wants to meet with I”, it would be “Carol wants to meet with me” so anything else you add doesn’t change the “me”. To some people, it may sound better to the ear if you say “Carol wants to meet with me and John”.

  2. Paula Couto
    11 December 2014 at 18:09

    When I write a dialogue, which one (pronoun) do I use?

    For example:

    Andy: How are you?
    Me: I’m fine, thank you.

    “Me” is correct?

    • lkl
      12 December 2014 at 08:20

      Yes, “me” is correct there.

  3. Bruce Ciccone
    2 January 2015 at 13:32

    Which is correct? Your gift was very thoughtful and appreciated by (Rosemarie and me) or (Rosemarie and myself)

    • lkl
      2 January 2015 at 13:39

      “by Rosemarie and me”

  4. Kristin
    9 January 2015 at 11:16

    Which is correct? The patient will either be followed by Dr. Smith or me, or The patient will either be followed by Dr. Smith or myself?

    • lkl
      9 January 2015 at 17:23

      Me, as explained in “the bottom line.”

  5. Dilip Butani
    22 January 2015 at 03:47

    Is it correct to introduce one self as ” Myself Dilip” or should it be “I am Dilip”

  6. Laura
    19 February 2015 at 11:33

    Which is correct:
    “A little bit about me” or “a little bit about myself”?

    • lkl
      20 February 2015 at 08:36

      Probably “myself,” because even if you don’t explicitly say the first few words, the basic idea is that you’re saying something like “I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself” – myself is used in conjunction with “I” as in the examples above.

  7. David BostonBowTie
    21 February 2015 at 13:33

    Most scientists–including ____–think that the world is round.

    What goes between the dashes — me or myself? I think “me,” girlfriend (who is usually the better grammarian) thinks “myself.” The word is the object of “including” correct?

    It seems to me that the rule is that “myself” is used as direct object of a verb, not any time the word is object case (thus, of prepositions, “me” not “myself”).

    • lkl
      28 February 2015 at 07:11

      I would say “me.” Myself is only needed when you’re stressing something: “I did it myself.”

      • David BostonBowTie
        28 February 2015 at 14:48

        Her point is that “me think that the world is round” is clearly incorrect (under the usual rule of “drop the rest of the phrase and see what fits). And “I” is likewise incorrect.

        So either —
        — the “drop the rest of the phrase” rule doesn’t fit here (which I think is correct) or
        — use “myself” just to weasel out of the problem.

        Further thoughts? Please, I need you to go beyond what sounds right to your ear at this moment — tell me the principle. (She’s a lawyer.)

        David

        • lkl
          28 February 2015 at 15:10

          There is no “drop the rest of the phrase” rule – I mentioned that in regard to a specific example: A little bit about me/myself, in which case it seems clear that the person has already said something like “Let *me* tell you a bit about myself” (emphasis added).

          In your example, there’s not necessarily any need to stress “myself.” You have to remember that myself is more about style than grammar: it’s for emphasis, to make it very clear that you’re talking about yourself and no one else: I did it myself, I bought it for myself, etc.

          Including is a verb, and the default object of that verb is a direct object: me. Myself is an intensive or reflexive pronoun, neither of which necessarily applies here, unless you’ve preceded your example with something like “I’m a scientist, and many scientists – including myself…” But if you’re just talking about science in general and then make that statement, myself is out of place: it’s not needed for stress or to make the sentence reflexive.

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