Why are the smallest words in English so difficult to master? Even native speakers get very confused with the English pronouns I, me, myself, and my!
Why do we have so many different words to describe the same person? Each word is a different part of speech and has a different role to play in a sentence.
I is a subject pronoun. Use it before the verb.
A subject does the action of a verb in a sentence.
I spoke to my friend yesterday.
I went to the movies last night.
When you have a double subject that includes I, always use and I.
My mom and I love movies.
I and my mom love Christmas movies.
My mom and I or my mom and me?
If you are not sure if you should use I or me with another person, remove the other person from the sentence and check if the sentence is correct:
My mom andI love Christmas movies. My mom andme love movies.
Me love movies is not a correct English sentence. The subject should be I, so you should say my mom and I.
Me is an object pronoun. Use it after the verb.
An object receives the action of the verb in a sentence.
He asked me a question.
She gave me her camera.
My dad told me to call.
Important note: Not all verbs are followed by an object. This is why it’s so important to focus on learning sentences. You can’t use me after certain verbs. For example,
He suggest me...
She say me… Can you explain me … ?
Me can also be the object of a preposition. After prepositions, use me.
Are you talking to me?
When you talk about two or more people including yourself, you can use me and … or … and me.
This is a photo of me and my brother.
This is a photo of my brother and me.
You will hear a lot of native speakers use me as a subject pronoun and say, “Me and my mom love movies.” It is common to hear this in informal, spoken English. However, many people consider this to be incorrect.
When I research grammar lessons, one of the books I use is a reference book called Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. It is published by the Oxford University Press, and it is considered the “bible” for English teachers. (That means it’s a very important book!) Here’s what Swan has to say about using me and as a subject (page 404):
These structures are often condemned as ‘incorrect’, but they have been common in educated speech for centuries. (There are examples of me in double subjects in Jane Austen’s novels, written around 1800.) They are, however, restricted to a very informal style. They are not correct in formal speech or writing.
Don’t say me and in the subject of a sentence when you are at work, or if you are taking any kind of English test (TOEFL, IEFLTS, etc.). If you do say it in informal conversation, be aware that some people may correct you.
Myself is a reflexive pronoun.
It refers back to the subject of the sentence.
Use myself instead of me when the object is the same person as the subject. In other words, use myself when you have already used I in a sentence, but you are still talking about yourself. Myself becomes the object.
I bought myself a new car!
I gave myself a manicure.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt myself.
Use myself after a preposition when the object of the preposition is the same as the subject of the sentence, or the when object of the preposition and the object pronoun are the same person.
I am proud of myself!
I did it all by myself!
He asked me some questions about myself.
When I was researching this topic, I discovered a strange guideline: Don’t use myself after a preposition of place. Use me. Don’t ask me why.
I put my bag down beside me.
I closed the door behind me.
I put my book down in front of me.
I told my friend to sit next to me.
You may hear a lot of native speakers say myself instead of I or me. Native speakers can’t remember when to use I or me, but they are so afraid of using the wrong pronoun that they use myself instead. This is very common, even though it is grammatically incorrect. Don’t do this.
My is a possessive pronoun.
It shows who possesses or owns the noun. It used to be called a possessive adjective.
That’s my car!
Have you met my family?
What if you want to talk about something that you and another person have or possess?
This is my mother’s and my favorite movie!
That’s correct. You could rewrite the sentence.
My mother and I love this movie! It’s our favorite!
I included my in this lesson because I noticed native speakers writing something very strange recently. Here’s a sentence I saw recently on Facebook. This is not the first time that I have noticed a native speaker writing this:
It’s my husband’s and I’s first date alone since our son was born.
Remember the trick to determine what the correct word is? Take away the other person in the sentence.
It’s my husband’s andI’s first date
No, that’s not correct. You can’t make I possessive. Here how the sentence should have been written:
It’s my husband’s and my first date alone since our son was born.
It’s our first date alone since our son was born.
Can we use ‘myself’ between Subject and Verb?
For example- “I myself did it”.
Is it correct to say?
It’s fine to say “I myself did it,” but don’t want to use this all the time. Use it once in a while. Use it when you are proud of yourself for doing something, or when you really want someone to know you put a lot effort into doing something! However, it’s better to say “I did it by myself.”
A very good lesson. Thank you so much!
VIJAY KARTHIK says
THANKS for giving a detailed guidelines.
I HAVE A DOUBT… is it wrong to say i myself did it ? Why did you use BY in this sentence=== I did it by myself ?
First, don’t say “I have a doubt.” That’s not a natural English expression. Instead, say “I have a question!”
I have rewritten your sentence with proper punctuation to make it easier to understand:
Is it wrong to say “I myself did it”? Why did you use “by” in the sentence “I did it by myself.”
It’s not wrong to say “I myself did it.” It’s better to say “I did it by myself.” I used the preposition “by” because that’s how you use “myself” in that sentence. “By myself” is a collocation.
“I traveled around the world by myself.”
“I baked a cake by myself.”
“I went to the movies by myself.”
The collocation “by myself” means on my own, alone, or without help from another person.
Thanks for your support and knowledge. Please, Could you tell me if it is correct to say “Me before you”? like the tittle of a movie. I think it should be “I before you”,Thanks for the answer and time.
That’s a good question , Viterra!
The title “Me before You” is correct. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, so I don’t know if it’s a quote from either of them.
However, it’s probably the result of shortening a longer sentence or thought, since there is no verb in “Me Before You.” It’s a way of saying, “This was me before I met you.”
It works as the title of a movie, but I don’t know when you would say it in conversation, unless you wanted to say something like “This is a photo of me before I met you.” Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about saying this in conversation unless you are talking about the movie.
nice lesion, please write more
This is the example you gave: “This is my mother’s and my favorite movie!”.
I have a question, is the following sentence correct?
“This is the favorite movie of my mother and me!”
Good question, Mar!
Your sentence is grammatically correct, but it is not a natural sentence. It sounds odd and unnatural. A native speaker wouldn’t use that sentence.
Which of these is correct?
I will tell you about the thing I know: me.
I will tell you about the thing I know: myself.
Sentence #1 is correct.
“I will tell you about the thing I know: me.”
If you rewrite the sentence without the colon, it becomes “The thing I know is me.” We wouldn’t say “The thing I know is
myself” because the subject of the sentence is “the thing I know” not “i.”
I hope that helps!
Hello. I have coworkers who often end their emails with the following. “If you have questions please contact Sue or myself.” It sounds wrong to me when I take out Sue. And I like Sue. Anyway, would I be correct in telling my colleague that holds a master’s degree that she should use “me” in place of “myself”?
I’m not surprised, Rita! This is very common. Native speakers are so terrified of using the wrong pronoun that they use myself instead and think that they sound smart & formal!
You can politely tell her that she should use me instead of myself, but she will probably keep using myself anyway because she’s worried about other people thinking she’s using the wrong pronoun.
You are correct. It sounds strange to say “please contact myself” or even “please contact I.” It’s supposed to be “please contact me.” The verb contact is followed by an object, so in this case use the object pronoun me.
I’ve heard lots of people on TV say something like this…Myself and Ann went to the store. Is this correct? It sounds wrong to me. Thanks
No, it’s not correct! It’s annoying. Native speakers are so terrified of saying the wrong pronoun (I or me) that they’ve started saying myself, hoping that they sound more intelligent.
Biju sharma says
Mam, as you said after preposition we should use ‘me’.
But in this sentence it would not be.
Due to my being a newcomer I was unable to get a house suitable for my wife and me.
Please explain mam.
Thank you very much.
Hi, Biju Sharma!
Where did you find this example sentence? It’s not a very good sentence.
This is a better sentence:
“I was unable to get a house suitable for my wife and me because I’m a newcomer.”
In reference to reflexive pronoun I wonder if the following example is correct?
“In 2011, a request to spearhead activities for the charity was initiated by myself, Lynda Scott Ross, the author of ….”
Or should myself be changed to “me, Lynda Scott….”
Myself definitely does not belong in the sentence! Do you need to include me at all in the sentence?
“In 2011, a request to spearhead activities for the charity was initiated by Lynda Scott Ross, the author of …”
I don’t know the context of the sentence, but from the part that you have written, it may sound better as an active sentence instead of a passive sentence:
“In 2011 I initiated a request to spearhead activities for the charity.”
“In 2011 I requested to spearhead activities for the charity.”
“In 2011 I spearheaded activities for the charity.”
All the best,
Thanks for the clarification. But I am still unsure about this….
apparently it generates empathy in lost causes like me (or should this be myself or I?)
I would be grateful for help.
Good question, Beate!
“… apparently it generates empathy in lost causes like me.”
Use me here. It’s the object of like. I is a subject pronoun. You don’t need myself because you haven’t used I or me anywhere else in the sentence.
I was very excited to your method to learn english
Prarthita shaw says
This was extremely useful!
Had to ask one thing. Is the following sentence correct?
“Why, didn’t you know the only person I ever gave the right to annihilate me was myself alone?”
If not, could you please correct it?
That’s a very advanced sentence, Prarthita! Well done! Yes, as far as I can see, it’s correct.
I am a Ph.D student of TEFL. I really love your explanations. Thanks a million.
Lara-Jayne Smith says
Would you say it is correct to say “the most important relationships in this company are between Kate and me and John and me” OR “the most important relationships in this company are between Kate and me and John and myself” (as ‘me’ has already been used once in the second option).
Your first sentence is correct & the best option:
“The most important relationships in this company are between Kate and me and John and me.”
This is not a situation in which you would use myself. ‘Kate and me‘ and ‘John and me‘ are separate from each other. They are two different relationships. You wouldn’t use myself if you were just talking about one relationship:
“The most important relationship in this company is between Kate and me.”
“The most important relationship in this company is between John and me.“
the lesson was very useful. thank you very much. kindly furnish me with your valuable comments about using “I , me , myself and her, him ” in passive sentences when we plan to clear “subject” also. example:
I broke the window.
the window was broken by … . (some people say “by myself” can we say “I”? because “I” is subject”) and (can we say “by me”? if so why?)
I hurt him.
he was hurt by … ?
In your example sentence, use me:
“The window was broken by me.”
“He was hurt by me.”
Please note: While your sentences may be grammatically correct, it is unusual to say “The window was broken by me.” If you are talking about yourself, use the active voice: I broke the window. I hurt him.
quyen sarah says
thank’s so much
What is the correct way to say, “We went in for me and my son’s birthday.” I feel like it should make sense if I remove “my son” from the sentence, but it doesn’t–“We went in for me birthday.”
What am I missing here?
I would be better if you rewrote the sentence:
“We went in for my birthday and my son’s birthday.”
“We went in for my son’s birthday and mine.”
Hi , myself renu. ?? It is correct sentence or wrong ? Should we use myself instead of I m ? Like I introduce myself to someone else …and I say , hi myself renu …so this is wrong way or right ??
When you introduce yourself, say “Hi! I’m Renu.” Don’t use