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Which is correct?

"I made lunch for my wife and I"
-or-
"I made lunch for my wife and myself"

--I hear both of them used.

closed as off-topic by k1eran, Janus Bahs Jacquet, Hellion, user140086, Mitch Nov 29 '16 at 18:17

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  • 2
    for my wife and me. preposition + indirect object. – Lambie Nov 28 '16 at 17:41
  • Do not say 'myself' when what you really mean is 'me'. It is a habit that has grown, ironically, particularly among more educated people. Other people can never talk to myself, only to me. See this article on reflexive pronouns if you're struggling to differentiate between them. – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 28 '16 at 17:48
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    You use the reflexive pronoun (myself, himself, etc.) when the actor is also the target. Here, the actor (the person performing the action of making lunch) is also the target (the person for whom lunch is being made), so the reflexive pronoun is correct. (see, for example, English Club's page on reflexive pronouns.) – Hellion Nov 28 '16 at 17:53
  • @Hellion Agreed. You don't say "I made lunch for me," or "he made lunch for him." You say "I made lunch for myself," and "he made lunch for himself." – Mick Nov 28 '16 at 18:04
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    The non-reflexive "me" (not "I") is fine since the subject "I" is its only possible antecedent. The reflexive form "myself" would thus be optional here. – BillJ Nov 28 '16 at 18:33
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Basing my answer on ESL-teacher and native-speaker intuition here, but I think both are wrong.

The reflexive pronoun is seldom (read: never) used if there are more subject pronouns than just the subject.

So in this example, I don't see why you wouldn't just use:

"I made lunch for my wife and me."

You should use "me" here because it's "for whom".

  • Nice answer! Concisely said. – ktm5124 Nov 28 '16 at 18:17
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    I'd go along with that, but add that the reflexive "myself" is also an option. – BillJ Nov 28 '16 at 19:22
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  1. "I made lunch for my wife and I."

Incorrect because you're putting a subject pronoun in the object position. (This is a common mistake made by many native speakers of English.)

  1. "I made lunch for my wife and myself."

Correct. It will be easier to see why it needs to be reflexive if we omit the other person: "I made lunch for myself."

Here is an example of a sentence with the plain, non-reflexive pronoun "me":

  1. "My wife made lunch for my mother and me."
  • You have committed a rookie mistake. You have tried to regularise the grammar according to what you think would be logical. Coordinations of pronouns don't follow the same rules in terms of agreement as single ones. – Araucaria Nov 29 '16 at 15:08
  • @Araucaria - Calling me a rookie doesn't convince me. Would you mind posting an Answer? I am interested to understand your point of view. – aparente001 Nov 29 '16 at 15:21
  • I wasn't calling you a rookie, was just saying that that's a rookie mistake :) See the venerable F.E.'s answer here. It includes info from vetted grammar sources such as the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. – Araucaria Nov 29 '16 at 15:35
  • @Araucaria - If you want to quote F.E.'s answer in a post here, it would be helpful to signal which part of that treatise would be relevant to whether to use the reflexive pronoun or not. Similarly, if you want to quote from the Cambridge Grammar, it would be helpful to signal which part is relevant to this particular question. – aparente001 Nov 29 '16 at 15:41
  • The part of your answer which is problematic is the bit where you say "Incorrect because you're putting a subject pronoun in the object position. (This is a common mistake made by many native speakers of English.)". <--as shown in F.E.'s quote from CamGEL, this description is not accurate. I am not saying F.E.'s post is an answer to this OP's question. – Araucaria Nov 29 '16 at 15:45

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