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Do You Misuse Myself?

Many people misuse the word myself. Here are two examples. 

Carl and myself ate lunch. = No

Mike cooked lunch for Carl and myself. = No

Myself can only be used as a reflexive pronoun or an intensive pronoun. Let's learn about each of these!


Reflexive Pronoun 

Reflexive pronouns are objects that refer (or reflect) back to the subject. They end in -self or
-selves.

Sentence diagram of the reflexive pronoun MYSELF www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

I should treat myself to a day at the spa.

Myself is the direct object, and it is referring back to the subject of the sentence, I.

Sentence diagram of the reflexive pronoun MYSELF www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

I smiled at myself in the mirror.

Myself is the object of the preposition at. It is referring back to the subject of the sentence, I.


Intensive Pronouns

Intensive pronouns are used to emphasize another noun or pronoun. They also end in -self or
-selves.

Sentence diagram of the intensive pronoun MYSELF www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

myself have never had a manicure.

Myself is being used to emphasize the pronoun I.

Sentence diagram of the intensive pronoun MYSELF www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

myself paid for my popcorn.

Myself is being used to emphasize the pronoun I.


Common Misuses

Now let's take another look at those two common misuses.

1. Carl and myself ate lunch. = No

In this sentence, myself is being used as a subject. But, myself isn't a subject pronoun. That's the role of the word I.

Sentence diagram www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

 Carl and I ate lunch. = Yes

2. Mike cooked lunch for Carl and myself. = No

In this sentence, myself is being used as an object (It's the object of the preposition for.), but the only way it can be used as an object is if it refers back to the subject.

That's not the case here. The subject is Mike, and myself does not refer back to Mike

We need to change the word myself to me.

Sentence diagram www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

Mike cooked lunch for Carl and me. = Yes

Here is a similar sentence that uses myself as a reflexive pronoun.

Sentence diagram MYSELF www.GrammarRevolution.com/reflexive-pronoun.html

I cooked lunch for Carl and myself. = Yes

Myself is referring back to the subject. Both myself and are referring to the same person, so it works!

There you have it! Now you know that myself can only be a reflexive or intensive pronoun, and you know what's wrong with the two common misuses of myself

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