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Sunday, 6 May 2007

AAE Q52: 'me, myself and I'

Hello Matt!

Can you explain me please, where is the different betwen 'me, myself, I'?

For example if I wanna say: "Já sama si uvědomuji/myslím, že..."

Thank you very much.

Simona


Hi Simona,

Firstly don't worry: it is really common for English native speakers to make mistakes using me, myself and I.

I will try to put the rules as simply as possible:

'I' is the subject of the sentence. 'Me' is the object.

Therefore: I do something, but something else is done to me

'She and I are going out', or
'She came to see me'

The most common mistakes happen when there is more than one subject in a sentence:

'She came to see my sister and I' (it should be 'me')

But there is one very easy way in which to avoid confusion: the pronoun doesn't change just because there is more than one person involved. In other words, just ask yourself if you would ever say 'she came to see I'.


Myself (himself, ourselves etc.) are used to refer back to the subject and to add special emphasis.


Referring Back to the Subject:

'I cut myself accidentally.'
'We helped ourselves to dessert.'
'The doors in the haunted house appear to open all by themselves.'

In each example, the -self word refers back to the subject (He-himself, we-ourselves, doors-themselves).

Adding Special Emphasis:

'I did it myself!'
'The teacher herself had to look up the answer.'
'We designed the website ourselves.'

In these examples, the -self words could be left out and the sentences would still make sense. The words are there for emphasis only.

If you want to say "Já sama si myslím, že..." in English you would say "I myself think that..." (using myself to add special emphasis.

Hope this helps

Matt


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