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Me, Myself, I – Common Mistakes in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Updated on September 29, 2012
My, myself, and I  are three frequently misused words in English as a Second Language or ESL.
My, myself, and I are three frequently misused words in English as a Second Language or ESL. | Source

Me, myself, and I are one of the most common English words that we learners of English as a Second Language or ESL frequently use in wrong ways.

It is quite understandable why we just have a hard time using these words correctly in sentences.

This is because even native speakers of the English language make tons of mistakes in using me, myself, and I.

Me, myself, and I all refer to one person but just because they do, it does not mean that they are interchangeable.

There are conditions that make the use of one of these three words correct and the use of the other two incorrect.

Below is a clear guide on using me, myself, and I for students of English as a Second Language.

When to Use Me

Many of us are so confused in choosing between me and I as well as me and myself that we often end up using these words wrongly.

It is good to note that there are conditions that make the use of one of these words right.

We use me in the following situation:

  • When we refer to the object in a sentence, then we use me.

An object refers to the subject in a sentence. It receives the action in a sentence and is often the word to which prepositions refer. As an object in a sentence, me acts as an object pronoun.

Examples of Me in Sentences

  1. My instincts told me to stay.
  2. She told me and Shane to stay.
  3. She talked to me and Shane.

When to Use I

We use I in this situation:

  • When we refer to the subject in a sentence, then we use I.

A subject does the action in a sentence. As a subject in a sentence, I functions as a subject pronoun. I as a subject pronoun is singular and is in the first person.

Examples of I in Sentences

  1. I wanted to stay.
  2. Shane and I will stay.
  3. Shane and I talked to her.

Notes on Me and I

Our confusions on me and I frequently spring from our use of “and” in forming plural subjects and plural objects.

  • Note that we have to use I when we add to plural subjects and me when we add to plural objects.

Plural Subject

Wrong: Shane and me plan to open a beach resort.

Right: Shane and I plan to open a beach resort.

Plural Object

Wrong: The consultant asked Shane and I to ready our business plan.

Right: The consultant asked Shane and me to ready our business plan.

  • Also, we should not mix a subject pronoun and an object pronoun in a sentence.

Wrong: I and her will work on the plan tomorrow.

Right: She and I will work on the plan tomorrow.

Wrong: Between her and I, the plan was not necessary.

Right: Between her and me, the plan was not necessary.

When to Use Myself

Many of us ESL learners are also unsure when to use myself.

Oftentimes we use it alone and sometimes with me, which may not be correct at all.

We use myself only in this kind of situation:

  • When we use the subject pronoun I, then we use myself to stress I.

As myself draws stress to I, then we call it stressed pronoun or reflexive pronoun.

We do not use myself with the object pronoun me.

Examples of Myself in Sentences

  1. I raised her by myself.
  2. I bought myself a house and a car.
  3. I enjoy myself more than before.

Mini Test on Me, Myself, and I

  1. All my articles were written by _____.
  2. I _____ wrote all my articles.
  3. _____ want to write more articles.
  4. I trust and believe in _____.
  5. She told _____ I could not make it but I did.

Mini Test Answers

  1. me
  2. myself
  3. I
  4. myself
  5. me

Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

Me, Myself, and I: Explained


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the lesson :-)

    • Phelcky profile image


      7 years ago from Denmark

      Wow thank you for this! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Great post! You have detailed the lesson well. Always an educational experience to read your hubs on these topics. WEll DONE!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article on the use of me, myself and I. English is my native tongue and I still find myself confused at times. Woe is me. Hope I remember what I just read. Voted up +

    • eric-carter profile image


      7 years ago from Fulham, UK

      Great hub! ME will make sure to share it among my foreign colleagues, as they do make the mentioned mistakes quite often.


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