I want to go out with someone. Currently, I am wearing my clothes and making my makeup.

Shall I use myself in this context?

Which one is correct:

I am getting ready to go out.


I am getting myself ready to go out.

  • Archaic [feminine]: I'm putting my face on.
    – lurker
    Jan 9, 2016 at 19:12
  • 1
    The light verb for makeup is do, not make.
    – user230
    Jan 10, 2016 at 3:49
  • *right verb, perhaps? @snailboat
    – GoDucks
    Jan 11, 2016 at 0:34
  • No, light verb. Please look up light verb constructions.
    – user230
    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:53
  • If a native speaker doesn't know the term, what are the chances a learner will? @snailboat
    – GoDucks
    Jan 11, 2016 at 5:56

2 Answers 2


Both are correct and understandable in that you have a few more things to do before you go out the door.

Using the reflexive myself would draw more attention to your person.

I would interpret

getting myself ready

to mean: your hair, your dress, your makeup, things more personal to you

getting ready

could mean getting your keys, turning off the lights, checking the cat's milk supply, but can also mean things about yourself.

In math speak, getting myself ready is a subset of getting ready

In terms of usage, using myself is more AmE, in BrE one would usually not want to draw that kind of attention to oneself.

  • 1
    Your last sentence is interesting. I've never heard that before and would be interested in some reference
    – GoDucks
    Jan 9, 2016 at 14:34
  • I've had female AmE friends use myself, whenever talking to a native BrE any sort of grooming or toiletry reference tends to be indirect, though as a group, females may say "We're getting ourselves together", but I've not heard myself, just "I'm (still) getting ready"
    – Peter
    Jan 9, 2016 at 14:48
  • 2
    Bogus AmE/BrE distinction, IMO. alanfrostphotography.com/tag/sherlock-holmes
    – TimR
    Jan 9, 2016 at 14:51
  • @TRomano Please find a relevant reference regarding grooming or toiletry as I have posted.
    – Peter
    Jan 9, 2016 at 15:07
  • So @Peter it's anecdotal, based on an extremely small sample size, and of questionable scope...?
    – GoDucks
    Jan 9, 2016 at 15:18

First, in English, we use the verb do, not make, in the phrase doing my makeup. However do is ambiguous as lots of times it just defaults to the meaning of some other verb that is used in the same context. Another common phrase is putting my makeup on.

So you could say:

Currently I am wearing my clothes and doing my makeup/putting my makeup on.

You can say either

I am getting ready to go out


I am getting myself ready to go out.

Myself is a reflexive pronoun.

The choice depends on whether you want to make the verb reflexive (refer to yourself explicitly). You might want to make it reflexive when the preparation refers to actions that involve getting your own person ready (such as when you put on your makeup, dress yourself, bathe yourself, brush your teeth, brush your hair, put on perfume...). But it's not necessary.

If you are getting something else ready, such as gathering up items you need (phone, umbrella, keys...); or looking for items (shoes, keys, phone...), or getting someone else ready (the baby, the babysitter...); or anything besides reflexive activities, then that would not call for a reflexive pronoun.

Since you are still in the act of doing your makeup or putting your makeup on, you might wish to say getting myself ready. But you do not have to. In fact, if you want to hide the fact that you are (still) getting dressed or putting on your makeup, you can not use the reflexive myself and whoever you are talking to will probably assume otherwise (unless they are in the same room or you let them know in some other way).

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