In the following sentence, should "for" be followed by "me" or "myself"?

John began asking questions that ended up creating a great learning experience for myself/me.

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  • "Me" is fine; there is no need for the reflexive "myself". – BillJ Aug 22 '17 at 15:19

A good rule of thumb is to only to use the reflexive "-self" if you've already used the pronoun in the sentence already, e.g. "I did it for myself" or "He did it for me".

So in this instance, because you haven't already said "I" or "me", there is no need for "myself", so "me" is correct.

If you said "John began asking questions, and I ended up learning a lot myself" - you can use the reflexive because you've already said "I".

  • But myself is used as an emphatic pronoun as well as a reflexive pronoun, and is certainly not incorrect here. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 22 '17 at 22:22
  • Even when used for emphasis, the pronoun is still called 'reflexive'. Reflexive pronouns have two main uses: one where they function as complement, and an emphatic use where they function as an optional modifier. In the OP's example, the pronoun is in complement function (not emphatic), and it can be non-reflexive or optionally reflexive. – BillJ Aug 23 '17 at 7:08
  • @EdwinAshworth my understanding is that the emphatic reflexive pronoun still emphasises the existing pronoun, and the sentence should still make sense if the reflexive is removed, which is not the case in OP's example. www.englishgrammar.org/reflexive-emphatic-pronouns-exercise/ has an explanation under "Difference between reflexive and emphatic pronouns" – Ceri Williams Aug 23 '17 at 11:28
  • Prior context is certainly needed, but the sentence is not incorrect per se. << It's a pity some people left the meeting after the first few questions, which were admittedly second-rate, totally unhelpful. But then things really improved. Alice had a question which really helped several of the members. John began asking questions that ended up creating a great learning experience for myself. >> – Edwin Ashworth Aug 23 '17 at 12:41
  • @CeriWilliams In its emphatic use, the reflexive pronoun is optional as in, for example, "I myself do not regard it as important", where the reflexive pronoun "myself" is syntactically optional. The reflexive "myself" is undoubtedly a complement in the OPs example, since it is syntactically obligatory. Where the reflexive has an emphatic use it is syntactically optional. Btw, I'd avoid the term "emphatic pronoun": these pronouns are a subclass of reflexive pronoun, not a subclass of pronoun. – BillJ Aug 23 '17 at 18:18

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