Pronouns! Do you know how many people misuse pronouns? And of all the words to use correctly, these would be the ones. But there is a ton of confusion about most of them, especially the "self" ones. So let's see if I can help you understand how to use these correctly.
The "self" pronouns are known as reflexive pronouns. The only time we can use them is when they "reflect" back to the subject of the sentence and are the SAME person as the subject (think "mirror image").
Yes: I cut myself shaving. (I and myself are the same person.)
Yes: John sings to himself in the shower. (John and himself are the same person.)
Yes: Sarah herself heard Rod say that! (Sarah and herself are the same person.)
Yes: John and I went to the early movie.
Yes: Susan asked John and me . . .
NO: Myself and John went to the movie. (Did myself go to the movie? No. Myself cannot be used as the subject of a sentence; it can only be used to reflect back to the subject.)
NO: John and myself went to the movie. (See above question.)
NO: Susan asked John and myself . . .
I believe this confusion came about for two reasons:
1) We are terrified of using I and me, and myself just sounds so good.
2) Everyone uses the self pronouns, so they must be right . . . right? Not necessarily.
So the next time you're tempted to use any self pronoun, stop. Think. Does it reflect back to the subject? If it doesn't, use a different pronoun.
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