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Reflexive Pronouns


What are reflexive pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns are used when the object is the same as the subject. For example, in the sentence "he hurt himself", he and himself refer to the same person.

Reflexive pronouns are also used for emphasis. In this case, they are referred to as intensive pronouns. For example, in the sentence "I spoke to the president himself", the speaker emphasizes that he spoke to the president personally NOT somebody else.

school homework
"I always do my homework myself. Nobody helps me."

teacher and student
"He never does his homework himself. The teacher always helps him."

In the above examples, the reflexive/intensive pronouns can be removed without changing the meaning.

List of reflexive pronouns

Subject Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
I myself
you yourself
he himself
she herself
it itself
we ourselves
you yourselves
they themselves

Uses of reflexive pronouns

1. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object refer to the same thing:

  • He blames himself for what happened.
  • You might cut yourself.
  • We will enjoy ourselves in the party.

2. Reflexive pronouns may be used as the object of a preposition:

  • He made a cup of coffee for himself.
  • He was talking to himself.
  • She did the job by herself.

mirror

Every morning...

I look at myself in the mirror.

3. Reflexive pronouns are also used for emphasis. In this case they are called intensive pronouns. Intensive pronouns can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.

  • I met the king himself.
  • The president himself announced the news.
  • He sent the letter himself

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Review:

Personal pronouns Possessive adjectives Possessive pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns
I my mine myself me
you your yours yourself you
he his his himself him
she her hers herself her
it its its itself it
we our ours ourselves us
you your yours yourselves you
they their theirs themselves them

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