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Sunday, 19 October 2014

What Are Reflexive Pronouns? (with Examples)

The reflexive pronouns are: myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves,yourselves, and themselves.

These words can be either reflexive pronouns or emphatic pronouns.

This page is about their use as reflexive pronouns.

A reflexive pronoun is used with another noun (or pronoun) when something does something to itself. For example:
·         John pinched himself.
(The reflexive pronoun himself tells us that John did something to John.)
Contrast the example above with this:
·         John pinched his sister.
(There is no reflexive pronoun in this example.)

Examples of Reflexive Pronouns

Below are some examples of reflexive pronouns. Using a reflexive pronoun means you do not have to repeat the subject (shown here in bold). (Repeating the subject would be clumsy.)
·         Alison still does not trust herself.
(Alison does not trust Alison.)
·         The members argued amongst themselves for an hour.
(The members argued amongst the members.)
·         We often ask ourselves why we left London.
(We often ask us.)
(Note: The subject is known as the antecedent of the reflexive pronoun.)

Identifying Reflexive Pronouns

In most sentences, somebody does something to someone else. For example:
·         I like him.
·         He spoke to her.
·         She thumped him.
·         The dog bit her.
However, sometimes people (or things) do things to themselves, and this is when you can use myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves,yourselves, and themselves as reflexive pronouns. For example:
·  I like myself. 
·  He spoke to himself.  style='orphans: auto;text-align:start;widows: auto;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; word-spacing:0px' v:shapes="_x0000_i1026">
·  She thumped herself. 
·  The dog bit itself. 

Some Real Examples of Reflexive Pronouns

Here are some real examples of reflexive pronouns:
·         I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.

·         We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people. (Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860)

·         If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. (Peter Ustinov, 1921-2004)

·         If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience. (George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950)
Note: Sometimes, the subject can be implied. For example:
·         The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool. (Jane Wagner)
This could also have been written:
·         The ability of you to delude yourself may be an important survival tool. (Jane Wagner)

What are reflexive pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns are used when the complement of the verb is the same as the subject.
Example:
He hurt himself.
Reflexive pronouns can also be used to give more emphasis to the subject or object.
Example:
I wrote it myself. (I want to emphasize the fact that I wrote it.)
I spoke to the president himself. (I spoke to the president personally NOT somebody else.)
Reflexive pronouns
Subject Pronouns
I
you
he
she
it
we
you
they
Reflexive Pronouns
myself
yourself
himself
herself
itself
ourselves
yourselves
themselves
The words " myself, yourself, himself..." are reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are words that show that the person who does the action is also the person who is affected by it:
Examples:
"I always do my homework myself. Nobody helps me."

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