Tuesday, May 17, 2011

grammar lesson: myself

Grammar lesson of the day. 'Myself' is a reflexive pronoun, meaning it points back to you.

How did you get that bruise on your face? I accidentally hit myself with a frying pan.

Who gave you that super cute necklace? Oh, I bought it for myself.

You see? It's used for something that you do to yourself. You to you. He bought it for himself. She bought it for herself. I bought it for myself.

Incorrect: Patty, please let Tom and myself know when you are finished.

You aren't doing anything to yourself, so there's no reason to say "myself." Patty is supposed to let you know when she's finished. Her to you.

Correction: Patty, please let Tom and me know when you are finished.

Sure, sometimes it sounds all fancy and formal to throw "myself" in everywhere. People do it all the time. People on TV. Even people who write for a living (yikes!).

But do yourself a favor (eh? eh? see it there? you do something for yourself), and don't use "myself" where you should use "me" or "I."

You wouldn't ever say "Myself will take care of the registration forms," so you probably shouldn't say "Barney and myself will take care of the registration forms."

Are you thoroughly confused? Sometimes I confuse myself, too. If you don't believe me, go look it up online and find out for yourself.

But don't be too self conscious about it. Go ahead and say it wrong. I won't criticize you for using the reflexive incorrectly. Everyone does it. I'll just notice in my own quiet way. But I won't love you any less.


Shannon said...

Grammar just makes me giddy. I giddy myself with grammar (eh?).

Erica said...

I have issues like this too. I can't stand it when someone uses "then" where they should be using "than" on their blogs, emails, etc. There are many more grammar mistakes that make me cringe.. it's hard to let go. Haha.

Chris said...

Myself, I didn't totally understand it, but I give me credit for trying.

Molly said...

Ha! Yourself totally knows what you talking about, Dad.

Jenni said...

I love that you are also a grammar snob. If you catch me using incorrect grammar, please call me on it. Seriously.

Ashley C. said...

I couldn't even get past your first example without laughing. It's like a bad domestic violence excuse. Terrible, I know.

Molly said...

Ashley--I had the same thought after I read it. Totally laughing. Had to leave it.

Ashley C. said...

I laugh every time I re-read it!!

Amy Carter said...

I never use 'myself,' but I always have to double-check myself (ha, just used it) on whether I should say 'I' or 'me.' I always do the example in my head before writing it out.

my biggest grammer problems:

mabye your next grammer lesson should be on homonyms.

Amy Carter said...

apparently another problem i have is spelling 'grammar'