When to Use "Me," I," and "Myself"

Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Grammar and other Writing topics.

When should you use I or me or myself when speaking and writing. What are the rules on this?

When to Use "Me," I," and "Myself"

"Myself" should never be used as a substitute for "me" or "I."
"Myself" can be used reflexively and a reflexive pronoun can be used in three situations. 1)When the subject and object of the sentence are the same. Ex. "I love myself." 2)As the object of the preposition referring to the subject. Ex. "I bought dinner for myself." 3)Emphasizing subject. Ex. "I'll do it myself."

Now, on to when you should use "me" and when you should use "I."
Use "me" when you are referring to the object of the sentence (someone who has had something done to them. Ex. "Read a story to Timmy and me." It is incorrect to say, "Read a story to Timmy and I."
Use "I" when you are referring to the subject of the sentence (someone who has done something) Ex. "Jerry and I just bought a new house." It is incorrect to say, "Me and Jerry just bought a new house."

Here's a good guide to use in case you can't remember the rules: Take out one of the pronouns to see if the sentence sounds right. With the first example, if you took out Timmy, does "Read a story to I" sound right? No, but "Read a story to me" does. With the second example, take out Jerry. "Me bought a new house" doesn't sound right, but "I bought a house" does.



2/3/2008 6:51:12 PM
Arlene said:

I learned this rule in the 50s but had started to think I was wrong. This must not have been taught anywhere since my school days as it seems noboby uses it correctly these days. I thought Hillary Clinton knew everything. :-)

6/14/2009 6:52:54 PM
Gloria Jordan said:

My brain goes into such aggravation with each of my minister's sermons. In my opinion he constantly uses "I" incorrectly for "me." The most recent is this, "My hope and prayer for you and I is . . ." I think ". . . and I . . ." should be ". . . "and me . . ." Am I wrong about this?


URL: (optional)


Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Writing Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak