Can we use myself at the beginning of a number of nouns, as in the following sentence:

My family consists of myself, my wife and our three children.

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    That sentence sounds fine to me (I have no problem with the order), but I wonder if you should be using me instead of myself in that sentence. More here. Conversationally, though, I think it would pass. – J.R. Mar 17 '14 at 14:54

Of course you can include yourself in a list along with other pronouns, proper nouns, etc. And there's no reason why you shouldn't put yourself first, last (or any other position you fancy).

Prescriptive grammarians will tell you you can't substitute me in such a list if that list is the subject of a sentence, so they won't like...

"Me and my wife have three children"

...but that's just pedantic tosh. People say things like that all the time, despite the fact that they would never dream of saying "Me have/has three children" (the usual argument trotted out to explain why me is "wrong" in my example). Idiomatically, people probably use me or myself more often than I there - but if they do use I, it's nearly always in the final position (whereas me tends to come first, and myself works fine in either position).

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It is considered polite when giving a list of people that includes yourself, to put yourself last. Thus:

My family consists of my wife, our three children, and myself. [or, ... "and me."]

Similarly, "My wife and I have three children" is preferred to "I and my wife have three children."

I think either "me" or "myself" works in this context. You have introduced the sentence with "my family", so I think using the reflexive "myself" is appropriate. Without the "my" at the beginning, I think "myself" would be wrong. Like:

The house fell on my wife, our three children, and me.

Barring a larger context using the words "I" or "me", I think "myself" would be wrong there.

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    Interestingly, a Chinese person once told me that they put the family name first and the given name second because they believe that family is more important than the individual. When I explained that that was precisely the reason we did the reverse, she seemed rather surprised. :) – BobRodes Mar 18 '14 at 3:19

I don't think so! Not for myself going at the first place but the usage of myself itself!

me is an objective pronoun that takes its place after a preposition or a verb. On the other hand, myself is used with reflexive verb whose action falls on the subject.

Consider these -

There are only two - you and me.
I looked at myself and realized how fat I have become.

So, when you are counting yourself, you say me.

My family consists of me, my wife and...

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    I don't understand why this got downvoted. Sure, as others have indicated in this thread, people say things like the O.P.'s example sentence quite often, to the point where it doesn't even sound incorrect. Yet this answer does address the more formal and correct way to say it. If someone was sending a resume to a prospective employer, I'd recommend following this guidance. – J.R. Mar 17 '14 at 22:06
  • I say "there are only two: you and I" because I also say "you and I are the only two there." Perhaps it is a foolish consistency, but I still do it. – BobRodes Mar 18 '14 at 3:21

Just because you do it doesn't make it correct. I completely agree with Maulik V... this advice is based on the proper rules; the formal, grammatically correct English language. Not what society has turned the English language into; not how society now happens to use the English language.

Most people have no idea anymore what the proper rules of the language are. With the media making such an enormous impact in our world, all the cringing improper grammar used in tv, movies & even commercials, only reinforces our grammatically incorrect habits to where most every language rule flies right out the window. Ok, that's a little extreme. But I am talking about real, everyday life & real, everyday people.

So in essence, even if someone learned the correct rules of the formal English language in their schooling, after so many years living in this 'no rules' society, everyone conforms somewhat.
Just like I'm quite positive I've most likely misused a word or two (or five or ten) in this paragraph, as well as many of my sentence structures and punctuations could be incorrect. Precisely why... I choose to take the solid, proper grammar guidance above.

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  • So sorry - this reply was Not to be an answer but a comment to the answer which starts out "I don't think so!" – user9087 Jul 26 '14 at 0:10
  • You can delete this answer and repost it as a comment. – jimsug Jul 26 '14 at 8:13

I was taught to name yourself last in a list, and refer to yourself as if would if you were the only one on the list. For example, "The nurse gave Chris, Jamie and me a lollipop." When I was a child, my mother explained it to me in a way that really stuck. She said, "If there was a person approaching a door at the same time as you, you wouldn't open the door only for yourself. You should hold the door for them, then go through the door after them."

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  • That's not a bad general rule, but in a case like this one where the other two list items refer back to "myself", it doesn't work as well to reorder them. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 12 '16 at 17:39

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