The English language has many confusing rules that can be very daunting for anyone learning English, and sometimes even native speakers get confused.
Three words you find many native English speakers mixing up are ‘me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’. So how do we use these correctly?
Let’s start with the word ‘myself’. The rule is that you only use ‘myself’ when you have already said ‘I’ in your sentence. Here is an example, “I will take the trash out myself”. It’s very straightforward; if you’ve used ‘I’ already you must use ‘myself’ if you are referring back to yourself again.
We only use ‘I’ when we are referring to ourselves as the subject of the sentence. It is you who is taking the action in the sentence. Here is an example, “I am going shopping today”.
Who is going shopping? YOU are. You are doing the action. It is also the same when you are doing something with someone else. For example, “John and I went for a walk”.
‘Me’ is use when something is being done for you or to you. For example, “Can you please take a message for me?” and “When did you call me?”
In the first sentence, someone is doing something for you.
In the second sentence someone did something to you.
Let’s try a couple of practice sentences. The answers are below, but don’t cheat!
1. My friend and ____ went to a concert.
2. I don’t like scary movies _____.
3. ____ love dogs.
4. If you need any help you can call John or ____.
5. Can you please drive ____ to work?
So how did you do? Let’s find out….
The answers are:
1. I. You and someone else are doing an action.
2. myself. You already said ‘I’ in the sentence.
3. I. You are the main topic of the sentence.
4. me. An action is being done to you.
5. me. An action is being done for you.