Me, Myself and I and Don't Forget My

People really don't sound more educated to me, when they use “I” or “myself” where they should have used “me.”   It amuses me to hear people say things like, “You have been so kind to my wife and I;”  or, “Feel free to contact myself ....”   Let me give you a mini lesson on proper use of the first person pronouns.

      “I” is used for the subject of a sentence.  I am going to write a letter to you.

      “Me” is used for the object of a verb or preposition.  You wrote a letter to me.

      “Myself” is used for emphasis when “I” is the subject of the sentence.  I wrote the letter myself.  I am going to the store to get myself some more paper.

 It seems to me that the problem most often occurs when a second person is going to be connected with the pronoun.  If “me” is correct when it is alone, it will still be correct when others are added. “You wrote a letter to (John and) me.” “Feel free to contact ( Mr.... or)  me.”  “You have been so kind to (my wife and) me.” 

 Take away the other person and see if “me” is correct.  Or, try using “us” instead of the person and the pronoun.  If you would use “us” than “me” is correct. 

      You are so kind to us.  You are so kind to me. You are so kind to my wife and me.

      Write  to us soon.  Write to me soon.  Write to mother and me soon.

      She bought it for us.  She bought it for me.  She bought it for Mr.... and me.

 Recently another problem has come to my attention.  Some writers try to make a possessive pronoun by adding an apostrophe and an "s" to the word "I."  Two examples: 

      ... my sister and I's dog...

      ... to Booke and I's score of zero.

The first person possessive pronoun is "my."  Again, the problem seems to be caused by having a second person involved.  If "my" is right alone, it is still right when another person also has possession.  In this case, add the apostrophe "s" to the other person's name and then use "my."  Or, rewrite so you can use the plural possessive "our."  

     ...my sister's and my dog...      or       ... our dog...

     ... to Booke's and my score of zero.    or     ... our score of zero.

Feel free to contact me, if you still have questions.  You can reach me by campus email or you can phone me.

Page maintained by Franice Stirling
Last update on October 21, 2013