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Thread: Me or Myself?

  1. #1
    Dennis Bergkamp Guest

    Default Me or Myself?

    When writing a letter I have ended it:
    ....please do not hesitate to contact John or me.

    Is this correct, or should it be: John or myself.
    or: Me or John
    or: myself or John?

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Me or Myself?

    Welcome to UsingEnglish.com, Denis!

    Nice to have our first true Gooner here (apart from me, that is).

  3. #3
    Reemy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Me or Myself?

    Hi
    you have to use (me).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Me or Myself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Bergkamp
    When writing a letter I have ended it:
    ....please do not hesitate to contact John or me.

    Is this correct, or should it be: John or myself.
    or: Me or John
    or: myself or John?
    Welcome

    First, I agree with Reemy's post: The object pronoun me is the correct choice in that context.


    People tend to think the reflexive form myself sounds more "elegant"--probably because they hear it in formal contexts, where the speaker uses it, albeit incorrectly, to mean, "me, personally".

    (Note, the symbol * below represents ungrammaticality).


    1. On behalf of my wife and *myself, we would like to thank you for attending our daughter's wedding.

    Correction: my wife and me (personally) ~ we

    2. The boss asked Max and *myself to have dinner with her.

    Correction: Max and me (personally) ~ us


    3. The family is doing fine, and as for *myself, well, I'm doing great, too.

    Correction: . . . , and as for me (personally). . .

    4. The matter concerns only you and *myself.

    Correction: => only you and me (pesonally) ~ us


    In terms of meaning, or semantics, myself means, me, personally, so it sounds OK to use it, but in terms of syntax, or how words function in a sentence, an object pronoun is required, so me is the correct choice.


    Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject, so if the subject and the object are one and the same, then use -self, but if they are not one and the same, and a reflexive is used, then the meaning it expresses is somewhat odd:


    a. I'll do it myself. => She'll do it *myself.
    b. He shaved himself. => He shaved *itself.
    c. You should contact *myself. => You should contact me.


    Second, when it comes the the order of the words, polite usage dictates that the other person's name should come before yours, but that's not to say the opposite order is unacceptable or ungrammatical. Both d. and e. below are fine.


    d. Please do not hesitate to contact John or me.
    e. Please do not hesitate to contact me or John.


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