One thing that surprises me when reading and indeed in conversation are the number of people who use ‘me’ when they mean ‘I’ and vice versa. I am surprised because we never get it wrong when we are talking of others: he and him; she and her; we and us; they and them. No one writes “Peter loves ‘she’ or ‘Jane gives ‘we’ a lift” or ‘them’ are my friends. So why is there confusion with ‘I’ and ‘me’?
We use I when I am the subject of the sentence. This means I do things to or with others ‘I go for a walk with her; I throw the ball for the dog. However when you are with someone else the rule changes to allow you to put yourself last in a list. For example ‘the manager and I’; ‘My wife and I’; my friends and I.
When something is done to or with me we use ‘me’. This is because I am now the object of the sentence. He loves walking with me; the conference was addressed by my manager and me.
And ‘myself’? Well this is the possessive. It’s like ourselves; yourselves; herself. So please don’t say ‘myself and my husband’ or ‘my manager and myself’. The test is to use the possessive ‘myself’ when you achieve something on your own or when talking about yourself. So for example I travelled by myself. I wrote the book by myself. No one was around to help!
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How do you feel when someone makes grammar errors? Please leave your comments below.