English Grammar : Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns in English Grammar

What Are Reflexive Pronouns?

"Reflexive pronouns are used when a person or thing is referring to the same person or thing."

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. Reflexive pronouns end in "-self" (singular) or "-selves" (plural). There are eight reflexive pronouns:

Singular (1) myself, (2) yourself, (3) himself, (4) herself, (5) itself
Plural (6) ourselves, (7) yourselves, (8) themselves

Reflexives are part of Personal Pronouns. They are – Myself, Yourself, Yourselves, Herself, Themselves, Himself, Itself, Oneself.

(a) They are used to emphasis/stress:

  • I did write the letter • I myself wrote the letter. (It gives more stress/force) OR
  • The letter was written by myself. (They can be placed after noun or at the end of the sentence.)

(b) As object of the verb-Here what a person or thing does to himself/itself is shown.

  • The Lady dressed before the mirror. • The Lady dressed herself before the mirror.
  • The child hid behind the tree. • The child hid itself behind the tree.
How Reflexive Pronouns work with Personal Pronouns?
Here is a list of reflexive pronouns as well as their corresponding personal pronouns:
Examples of each reflexive pronoun used in sample sentences:
  • I whistled to myself to calm down.
  • Rather than diagnose yourself when you're unwell, you should ask a doctor.
  • Without a strong steel frame, the building would collapse in on itself.
  • We thought to ourselves, this has been the best day we ever spent together!
  • She bought herself a new purse for her new job.
  • If he wasn't always pushing himself at the gym, he wouldn't be so buff.
  • Pull yourselves together - Grandma will be arriving any minute!
  • They managed themselves very well as members of the conference panel.
  • Priya thought to herself, "This is a very nice day for a picnic!"
  • I cried myself to sleep last night.
Uses of Reflexive Pronouns.
  • I prefer to work by myself.
  • Why do you blame yourself?
  • Kevin sent himself a message.
  • The girl is learning to dress herself.
  • My dog hurt itself.
  • We blame ourselves.
  • Can you help yourselves?
  • They cannot take care of themselves.
Related Topics :
Types of Noun in English Language
Types of Pronoun in English Language
Types of Verb in English Language
Types of Adverb in English Language
Types of Adjective in English Language
Kinds of Preposition in English Language
Types of Conjunction in English Language
Uses of Interjection words in English Language


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