There is a saying in English that we’re never alone because we are always with “me, myself, and I.” These are three common pronouns to denote ME as the subject and object of a sentence, yet they are commonly misused by English speakers. Let’s have a brief look at how to use them properly.
I is of course the most common pronoun because it refers to me as the subject.
- I went to the store.
Easy right? So what happens when you go with someone else to the store? You always put I second in the subject.
- Julia and I (subjects) went to Japan.
Putting I first is incorrect, sounds dreadful, and English speakers virtually never do it. I would never say, “I and Julia went to Japan.”
Problems with pronouns arise when we use ME.
ME should always be used as the object in a sentence.
- Julia (subject) went to Japan with me (object).
When there is more than one person in the object, put me second.
- Ai and Yuka sang karaoke with Julia and me.
One of the most common errors amongst native English speakers is to use ME as the subject pronoun.
- Me and Julia went to Japan.
- Julia and me went to Japan.
TRY TO AVOID THIS!
Myself is also troublesome. Myself is a reflexive pronoun that refers to the subject AFTER already establishing I as the subject pronoun. It is most commonly used in the following way:
- I couldn’t see myself in the mirror.
- I wanted to buy myself a Washlet in Japan.
A terrible habit amongst English speakers is using MYSELF as either the subject or object in a sentence, like in these ear-splitting examples:
- Julia and myself went to Japan.
- Myself and Julia went to Japan.
- Julia went to Japan with myself.
- Ai and Yuka sang karaoke with Julia and myself.
These are common mistakes that annoy English teachers because we should know better, yet even I catch myself using me and myself incorrectly at times.
As native English speakers we may never travel alone, but we should always know the difference between me, myself, and I.