Writing this post makes me feel a little awkward because it’s about me. I usually don’t like writing about myself, but someone needs to stand up for me.
In some instances, it’s best to forget about me. As children, we’re told not to say, “Me and Mick brainstormed our report” or “Mick and me brainstormed our report.” Instead, we should say, “Mick and I brainstormed our report.” Most people get this right.
The problem is that some extrapolate the wrongness of “me and Mick” and “Mick and me,” applying it to things that are done to or for the pair. “Pat did some research for Mick and I” is just as wrong grammatically as “Mick and me did all of our own research.” It should be “Pat did some research for Mick and me.”
Sometimes people even exclude me in favor of myself, saying, “He sent the message to myself.” It should be “He sent the message to me” or “He sent me the message.”
On the other hand, if I had been the subject of the above, it would be correct to state, “I sent the message to myself.” It’s also correct to say, “I myself sent the message.”
Me, myself and I are all first-person personal pronouns. I is the nominative or subjective case, which is used as the subject of a sentence or clause. Use of me, the objective case, is appropriate when the word is the object of a verb or preposition. Myselfis the reflexive case, which can be used as an object when the subject is I,as when I sent the message to myself. It can also be used as an intensifier, as when I myself sent the message.
An easy way to remember me when appropriate is to think of how something would be said or written without Mick. You wouldn’t say, “Pat did some research for I.” Instead you’d say, “Pat did some research for me.” So include me—not I—whether Mick is there or not.
If you have a writing project and you have questions about grammar, I’d love to help you. Please get in touch.
My guest editor for this post was Vicky Tangi, who teaches English as a Second Language to adults and whose writing has been appeared in Louisiana Literature, the Journal of College Writing, The Advocateand numerous literary anthologies.