Me, Myself, and I–Don’t Overthink It.

Avoid confusing the subjective and objective pronouns by breaking down your sentence to the subject-verb basics. For instance, which of the following is correct:

He scooted into the booth and crowded Elaine and I against the wall.

He scooted into the booth and crowded Elaine and me against the wall.

If you chose the first example, you’d be wrong. Many writers overthink the I versus me. I suspect it’s from stern parents or teachers who correct children using “me” as the subject. “Can Andrew and me watch TV?” is often answered by “Andrew and I.” If you suffered a childhood of this, you may be afraid to use “me” at all!

In the above example, however, the pronoun is the object of the action, not the subject, and “me” is correct.  Isolate the pronoun to its basic construction and you have He crowded me. When in doubt, deconstruct the sentence.

That covers me and I, but what about myself? Myself usually is a superfluous pronoun. I could go the rest of my life without using myself in a sentence. That’s not to say it’s wrong, but use it with care. 

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