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  1. All along, all I was running away from was me.

  2. All along, all I was running away from was myself.

Which is (more) correct?

I understand that if the sentence was simply "I was running away from me/myself," myself would be the right word to use, because the subject and object are the same. I'm just unsure with the second "all" in the sentence.

I've seen lyrics like "all I was searching for was me" or titles like "all I was looking for was me." I know those could be incorrect.

Could someone please confirm which of the two sentences above is more correct?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Glorfindel, curiousdannii, NVZ, tchrist May 12 '17 at 14:19

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The second option you provided is the more correct of the two:

All along, all I was running away from was myself.

The "All along" in your sentence is sort of self-contained and doesn't matter for this question.


Myself should be usually be used with the subject pronoun I, since it's a reflexive pronoun.

Me is an object pronoun, the verb acts upon it.

Paint me green.

and

I painted myself green

But this is weird and wrong:

I painted me green

Generally speaking, song lyrics are not a good source for grammar. Plenty of artistic/poetic liberty can be taken to make a rhyme or a sentiment work.

  • 1
    The last example sounds wrong, unless you're a pirate. I painted me green, arrrgh. – jxh May 8 '17 at 22:03
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Correct:

I was running from myself.

Why? "Myself" is a reflexive pronoun 1, which are nouns that are used in conjunction with the word that they describe. Hence, these words reflect the word to which they refer. In this case, "myself" is the reflexive pronoun, and "I" is the noun to which "myself" refers.

Put more simply:

  • Use "myself" when the actor is you
  • Use "me" when the actor is someone other than you

The same can be said for other reflexive nouns, such as "herself", "himself", "themselves", etc. For example:

She was running away from herself

In this case, she is acting upon herself.

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