Site Search:

Pronouns #4 ("One"), by Dennis Oliver

Reflexive ("Self") Pronouns

English has yet another group of pronouns: reflexive
pronouns. These pronouns are sometimes called "self"
pronouns because all of them end in -self or its plural
form, -selves:

subject

object

possessive

reflexive

I

me

mine

myself

you (singular)

you

yours

yourself

he

him

his

himself

she

her

hers

herself

it

it

---

itself

we

us

ours

ourselves

you (plural)

you

yours

yourselves

they

them

 theirs

themselves

 

In general, reflexive pronouns are used when the subject
and the object (or the indirect object or object of a
preposition) in a sentence are the same:

When there's no one else to answer him,
Bill talks to himself ( = Bill talks to Bill).

No, I won't forget. I'll write a note to
myself ( = I'll write a note to me).

Sheila taught herself to ride a bicycle
( = Sheila taught Sheila to ride a bicycle).

Joe and Fred think only of themselves
( = Joe and Fred think only of Joe and Fred).

 

____________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

 

1.  

Reflexive pronouns are also used in the set
phrases by ___ self and by ___ selves).
These phrases have two meanings. One is
without any help:

I don't need any help. I can do it
by myself.

His homework is perfect. Did he do it
by himself?

Did the children clean their rooms
by themselves?

___________________________________

 

The other common meaing for by ___ self
and by ___ selves is alone:

Bobby is only six years old, but he flew to
London by himself.

Do you have roommates or do you live
by yourself?

Do you want some company or would you
prefer to be by yourself?

     
2.  

Reflexive pronouns can also be used to add
emphasis. In this situation, the meaning is
is something like "personally":

I myself don't believe him.
(Personally, I don't believe him.

Yes, Jane is leaving. She herself told me.
(Jane personally told me that she is leaving.)

You yourself must be present. No one can
represent you. (You must be present
personally. No other person can represent you.)

___________________________________

 

For this use of reflexive pronouns, the
pronoun can also be at the end of the sentence:

I don't believe him myself.
(I don't believe him personally.)

Yes, Jane is leaving. She told me herself.
(She told me personally.)

You must be present yourself. No one can
represent you. (You must be present personally.)

 

 

Dave's ESL Cafe is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Banner Advertising | Bookstore / Alta Books | FAQs | Articles | Interview with Dave
Copyright 1995-2007 Dave's ESL Cafe | All Rights Reserved | Contact Dave's ESL Cafe | Site Map