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I have seen this on a advertisement. A teacher asks: "Who wants to do the problem 3?" And one of the students who is afraid that teacher would choose him to do the question try to hide his face, and tells himself:

"Please, don't be me, don't be me!"

I understand from the context that the student does not want to be the one whom the teacher would ask to do the question. So, he is avoiding the teacher and hopes that he would not be the one chosen.

But I wonder, is this "Don't be me" structure idiomatic, because this structure starting with "Don't ...." is generally used in imperatives. This sentences expresses a wish or a hope rather than a command.

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    "Don't be me" is an imperative. "Don't step on the grass", "Don't eat that", "Don't be like that", etc. are imperatives, and "Don't be me" is still structurally an imperative, whether it's idiomatic or not.
    – stangdon
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 11:15
  • But this sounds more like a wish rather than a command, which is why it sounded different to me. Your examples like "Don't step on the grass" are actual imperatives, not a wish or hope. I wouldn't expect an imperative structure to express a wish.
    – Yunus
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 11:25
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    I understand what you mean. Yes, it's more like a wish, but you are kind of commanding the universe, or the act of choosing. You might want to look at the use of let for impersonal imperatives.
    – stangdon
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 11:43

2 Answers 2

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I would say the idiomatic phrasing is Don't let it be me.

Let is often used for impersonal imperatives (like Let them eat cake), and Don't let for negative versions.

You can find many examples of don't let it be me, such as

My heart was racing as I knew there were only a couple of us left that Kenny would potentially call on.
"Please don't let it be me, please don't let it be me, please don't let it be me," I repeated in my head like a mantra...

(source)

or

Please, please, please don't let it be me. Not today, not when I hadn't done the reading assignment or even brought my casebook for that matter.

(source)

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It's not particularly idiomatic, but it can certainly be used in contexts like these. I would usually say:

Please don't pick me

The one you suggested is viable, just not as widely used probably.

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