Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
A. This morning I sent a reply to yourself.
A. This morning you sent a reply to myself.
Surely these should be:
B. This morning I sent a reply to you.
B. This morning you sent a reply to me.
My dictionary says something like this (from memory) under its entry for “yourself”:
- (a) used as the object of a verb or preposition when this is the same as the subject of the clause and the subject is the person or people being addressed. (b) used by way of emphasis as in, “You do it yourself.”
The use as in A. seems to have completely swamped the use as in B., so that I no longer hear B. I feel exceedingly uncomfortable with this, almost to the point of finding it annoying. Is this irritation misplaced?
DouglasM6What you remember from your dictionary is basically correct (although some of the first use seems a bit convoluted: simply - subject is same as object or direct object).
CalifJimYou have the "rules" on your side. If it sounds wrong or clumsy to you, don't use it. However, as you have already observed, there is a change going on in English in some regions. The -self forms are taking over the place of the simple forms.Thanks for your replies!
This trend is here in Australia and New Zealand.
Is the trend prevalent in the USA?
Is the trend prevalent in the UK?
CalifJimQuite a few people use the -self forms that way in the U.S., but not a majority by any means. To be on the safe side, I would recommend not imitating these patterns. They certainly won't be accepted as correct on an English proficiency exam!Here in Austalia and New Zealand, what I find disconcerting is that the -self forms are very frequently, if not invarialbly, used in formal speech and writing!
I've only ever heard it from people who are 'trying to impress' by putting on what they imagine is a 'posher' way to speak. The same people who use 'I' when they should use 'me' because they think it is posher.
Nona The BritIt's something I find quite irritating too, Doug. Like fingernails down a blackboard.I know it sounds unnatural to many people, but... I remember reading (in some other forum) that in certain regions, and among a certain social group, using "Chris and I" instead of "Chris and me" or using "myself" instead of "me" is very common. So common that the "correct" version sounds worse. I remeber reading that there are parents who correct their children when they say "between you and me", saying "It should be between you and I".
These kinds of things confuse learners... there are a lot of differences in usage, we notice a lot of features and then we can't decide how to use the language... It'll always be a problem, unless we move to an English speaking country, to a certain region, and pick up the variety. And we might well end up saying "Is you ready?"...
Anonymous:This is balderdash, it is nothing to do with being posh or not. And the rules for this are the same in American, British, International and any other type of Enlgish
The simple way to know when "me" or "I" is correct is to think of the phrase without referencer to the other person e.g.
"Kelly and I went to the movies" is correct because you would say "I went to the movies"
"Kelly and me went to the movies" is incorrect because you would not say "me went to the movies"
"Will you join Kelly and I for a drink" is incorrect becuase you would not say "Will you join I for a Drink"
"Will you join Kelly and me fo a drink" is correct because you would say "Will you join me for a drink".
"Yourself" (or "myself") can be either an intensive or a reflexive pronoun.
A reflexive pronoun emphasizes another noun or pronoun in the sentence such as in "The captain himself steered the boat into port"
Intensive pronouns simply identify the receiver of an action with the person doing the action, for example such as "I injured myself in the car crash".
"You" and "me" are personal pronouns that ar used in the sentence as a subject like in the phrase "You saw me have the car crash"
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