"After looking after me and my pet, I..."


"After looking after myself and my pet, I..."

Does the pronoun "I" not need to be placed at the beginning of a sentence in order to use the reflexive "myself"? Or is it fine to use when "I" immediately follows as it does here?

  • Does this answer your question? "My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner" Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 17:19
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Not sure the duplicate you indicate has anything to do with this question. Was it a typo?
    – fev
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 17:44
  • After looking after I and my wife's pet... ? If that's not close enough to be a valid duplicate, I'd vote to migrate to ELL. I don't think many native Anglophones agonise much over matters like this. Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


No, a sentence using myself does not have to begin with I, though it normally contains it.

Your first version is wrong, though. I look after myself, but someone else looks after me.

  • And let's reword After looking after. Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 13:31

Since I am doing the looking, you have no choice but use myself. Your first sentence is ungrammatical.

Your second sentence (which is the correct one) is a case of cataphora:

In English grammar, cataphora is the use of a pronoun or other linguistic unit to refer ahead to another word in a sentence (i.e., the referent). Also known as anticipatory anaphora, forward anaphora, cataphoric reference, or forward reference. (Thought.co)

Cataphora is definitely less frequent than anaphora, but it has a fairly common usage. Here are some examples (from Thought.co):

  • A few weeks before he died, my father gave me an old cigar box filled with faded letters.
  • It must have been tough on your mother, not having any children.
  • Too scared to buy before they sell, some homeowners aim for a trade.

So there is nothing wrong with using myself, before mentioning I. To avoid repetition, your sentence could better be formulated as follows:

Having looked after myself and my pet, I...

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