It’s common to hear people use myself as a substitute for me. You might also have heard “win theyself a prize,” or “fix you-self some dinner.” It seems like a reasonable mistake when one uses a subject pronoun (they or you), but these need reflexive pronouns such as themselves or yourself.
- The IRS sent the refund check to my wife and myself.
- Be sure to notify Morgan and myself that you finished the paint job.
- Did you tell them that my paintings were better than those done by theyself?
A reflexive pronoun is useful in referring to the one who did the action: myself, yourself / -selves, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, and themself / -selves. For example, “I hurt myself” includes the subject, the verb, and the (reflexive) object. It must acquire meaning from an earlier part of the sentence. “You cooked it yourself.” Sentences such as “Please give it to myself” are incorrect because myself doesn’t refer to anyone. The IRS sent that check to me. I didn’t do it! Neither Morgan nor I finished the paint job — you did!
MORE TO KNOW
If you use the phrase, “I’ve got to hand it to myself,” that is exactly right; you did the action right back to yourself. “I’m going to decorate the room myself, and laugh myself into delirium” are completely appropriate. After all, Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin sang in 1985 that “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves”; they (pronoun) and themselves (reflexive pronoun).