Just because we communicate in English doesn’t always mean we
use punctuation the same way. Americans use a colon to denote time (4:30) while
the British use a period (4.30). Titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms. and Dr. all receive
a period at the end in American English, while British English leaves off the
And when it comes to single quotes or double quotes, we face
the same problem of not being the same. Should you use single quotes or double
quotes for dialogue, for quoting inside a quote, for scare quotes?
Yes, I wrote an entire blog post about how to use a question mark and it wasn’t a waste of my time. Because, in truth, we all are afraid to ask our friends and peers how to add a question mark correctly to a specific question when sentence structure and formatting come into play.
If you are brave enough to let someone edit your work, be it an academic paper or the third chapter of your novel-in-progress, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen this scribbled out in bold red pen:
Use active voice here.
Well, wouldn’t it be helpful if they explained? Since your editor can’t hyperlink an example on traditional paper, you’re now searching the Internet to figure out the difference between active voice and passive voice.
I’m keeping my promise to a dear friend of mine by writing this blog post.
There’s a grammatical error bug going around her office—and it’s contagious. Her career is decades-strong across all forms of communications, but she’s never seen or heard such a grammatical error being used on the daily until she joined her latest team. It’s infected her peers’ verbal speech and email composition.
That’s right: They all have the case of the myself.
Here’s how it usually goes down. They write or speak a sentence like this:
“Jan, Greg and myself went to the conference.”
“My supervisor scheduled a meeting for Chris and myself on Thursday.”
Some of you are cringing. And some of you don’t see the issue.
This blog post is for you.
How NOT To Use Myself In A Sentence
The simplest way to decide if you should use myself in a sentence is by leaving it alone in the sentence.
For example, would you say, “Myself went to the conference” or “My supervisor scheduled a meeting for myself on Thursday”?
Of course not.
You would say “I went to the conference” and “My supervisor scheduled a meeting for me on Thursday.”
Here’s an easy way to remember the difference between these first-person pronouns:
I = Subject Pronoun
Me = Object Pronoun
Myself = Reflexive Pronoun
It’s the role of “myself” as a reflexive pronoun that can often be confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading.
Myself: The Reflexive Pronoun
A reflexive pronoun is a special kind of pronoun. It’s used in a sentence when the object of the sentence is the same as the subject.
If you are both the subject and object of a first-person sentence, then the object of your sentence can be “myself.” That’s because the person performing the action in the sentence (“I”) is the same person who is receiving the action of the sentence (“myself”).
In other words, if “I” is the subject of the sentence and the object of the sentence still refers to you, then “myself” can be the object.
Some examples include:
“I scheduled a meeting for myself on Thursday.”
“I see myself going to that conference.”
The misuse of myself is finally solved, if I do say so myself.
Don’t think so? Still have questions about how to use myself in a sentence? Ask your grammar question below.