Misuse of Myself

[Instructors: PDFs of this exercise and its answer key are at the end of this post.]


The personal pronoun myself is often used incorrectly, making the speaker sound uninformed. To use myself correctly, remember that all personal pronouns have a matching reflexive pronoun: me-myself, you-yourself, she-herself, etc. Being reflexive means the word reflects on something you do yourself (I ate the whole pie myself.) A reflexive pronoun is always the object in a sentence, never the subject, so saying Myself will lead the meeting or Mr. Singh and myself will handle the account is incorrect; myself is never a substitute for me or I.

To make sure you are using myselfcorrectly, consider these points.

  • When reflexive pronouns are used to show emphasis, they are called intensive pronouns: I wrote the report myself. The sentence would be correct without myself.
  • When the speaker is both the subject and object of the sentence, use the reflexive: After the presentation, treated myself to a night out with friends.

Correct the following sentences containing myself. Note whether the rewritten sentence uses myself as the object [O], as an intensive [I], or as subject/object [S/O]. Mark the sentence with a [C] if myself is being used correctly and note why.

  1. Please contact Maria, Sooyi, or myself with questions about the new regulations.
  2. Let myself know when you’ve completed reviewing the attached report.
  3. I can see me in the photo.
  4. Give the package to Joe or myself.
  5. I myself saw the result of the quake’s damage.
  6. For people like myself, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a good job.
  7. The manager and myself met to discuss the matter, and we were in complete agreement.
  8. My colleagues and myself worked through the night to make the deadline.
  9. I brought in the client myself and should therefore be the liaison.
  10. Mark said he’d be delighted to set up a phone call for myself and Ben.

Misuse of Myself Exercise

Misuse of Myself-Answer Key

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