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Me, Myself, and I

July 29, 2009

Time for a grammar lesson. Everyone love’s loves those. As many of you know, English was not my strongest subject (Jane Eyre anyone?). Nevertheless, we should all strive to speak gooder English. Personal pronoun misuse is rampant, so here’s some tips to help you get it right and impress your friends.

“I” is a subjective personal pronoun. You use it when it’s the subject of the sentence.
“Me” is an objective personal pronoun. You use it when it is a direct object, indirect object, or the object of a preposition.
“Myself” is a reflexive personal pronoun. You use it as an object, but only when “I” is the subject.

You can diagram every sentence to determine the parts of speech and use the correct personal pronoun. Or you can use these handy rules of thumb, which will make you correct 90% of the time.

Rule #1: Always use “me”
Rule #2: Except when it’s the first word of the sentence or at the end of a list that starts the sentence, then use “I”
Rule #3: And except when it’s not the first word, but the first word is “I”, then use “myself”

Some examples:
I ran up the hill. #2
Jack and I ran up the hill. #2
Jack, Jill, and I ran up the hill. #2
Jack punched me in the face. #1
Jack and Jill chased me up the hill. #1
I punched myself in the face. #3
Jill flirted with Jack and me. #1

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 2:08 pm

    Superb grammar lesson, DK.

    A nice grammar tool when you’re uncertain about a “2-party” piece of a sentence is to remove 1 party.

    Do I say, “The dog bit Fred and I” or do I say “The dog bit Fred and me”? Take out the “Fred and” part.

    Is it “The dog bit I” or “The dog bit me”? The answer is easy to hear.

  2. July 29, 2009 4:11 pm

    Good grammar lesson. Another is whether to use “I” or “me” in 2-party situations.

    “The dog bit Fred and I” or “The dog bit Fred and me”. Take out the “Fred and” portion–and you get the answer.

    Stay away from dogs chasing guys named Fred.

  3. July 29, 2009 9:45 pm

    “Everyone love’s those” – – – – REALLY!?!?!?

    PLEASE tell me that you see what’s wrong with this little sentence, seven words into your GRAMMAR blog…

  4. July 30, 2009 7:42 am

    I don’t see anything wrong. 🙂

  5. July 30, 2009 9:02 am

    Your rules are a good way to remember proper usages for one of the most misused parts of speech- the pronoun!

    If you DO want to diagram a sentence, check out my website:


    🙂 Elizabeth

  6. July 30, 2009 3:51 pm

    Why is it that I can “hear” DA when I read his comments???

  7. July 30, 2009 4:44 pm

    Sorry for the double comments. I don’t understand this blog-comment-thingy very well.

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