Business English Quick Tips: me, myself and I

Business English Quick Tips

Quick tips to help you write better for business

Welcome back after the Holidays break.

If you need to write for your job or business in English, these quick tips will help you succeed…

Me, myself and I

Back when grammar was rather more strictly enforced than it is now, sorting out whether to use “me” or “I” was simple. When you need to use a first person singular pronoun, it’s “I” when it’s the subject of the sentence, and “me” when it’s the object.

Where the picture gets more complex is when you do something with someone else.

How often have you seen written down, or heard people say, “me and my colleague went to that seminar yesterday…?”

Or, “you’ve no idea how badly that decision affected my colleagues and I…”

Both are wrong. If you don’t immediately see why, trying taking the other person/people out …

Me went to that seminar yesterday…

You’ve no idea how badly that decision affected I…

See? Simple solution.

What about “myself?”

According to many of the “grammar police” manuals I’ve looked at, technically it’s OK to write “myself” as an alternative to “me.” Although I respect those rules there are times – many times – when I feel that to use “myself” makes you look pompous and overly formal.

Instead, using the word “myself” is an effective way to create emphasis in a sentence. For example:

I don’t find that software particularly useful, myself

I am claiming half those expenses back for myself

Myself, I prefer to clear emails before I start work in the morning

And for something a bit different, try the exercises associated with this article in my “30 Day Business Writing Challenge” – Click here

More next week … and if you have any questions about business writing in English please add them here in the comments section; I will try to answer them as well as I can!

Suze

 

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. Simple rules here! Thanks Suze for making it clear. The me & I confusion is a common one.

    • Very common, Lynn. We are acutely aware of it in my family because if ever one of us does get it wrong, my aunt has apoplexy. Needless to say she is an English graduate…

Thoughts

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