Reflexive pronoun

Reflexive pronoun:

A reflexive pronoun is a type of pronoun that reflects the subject of a sentence. It is used when the subject of the sentence also acts on itself. Reflexive pronouns are formed by adding the suffix -self (singular) or -selves (plural) to certain personal pronouns. They help indicate that the subject is both the doer and the receiver of the action in a sentence. Examples of reflexive pronouns consist of

  • myself,
  • yourself,
  • himself,
  • herself,
  • itself,
  • ourselves,
  • yourselves,
  • themselves.

Reflexive pronouns are used to convey actions or states of being that involve self-reference or self-action.


Personal pronoun Reflexive Pronoun Examples
I  Myself I committed myself a thousand times.
He Himself He created the master panting by himself.
She Herself She has so many coins and has saved herself very carefully.
It Itself That LED screen can adjust the picture resolution itself.
   They       Themselves People in the jungle eat animals by themselves.
     You (Singular) Yourself      Are you ready to participate in the singing competition by yourself?
    You   (Plural) Yourselves It was good to see you at a party by yourselves.


Reflexive pronoun rules:

  1. Reflexive pronouns are used when the difficulty and item of a sentence refer to an equal individual or factorAs an instance:
  • She injured herself while playing volleyball.
  • They prepared themselves for the tournament.
  1. Reflexive pronouns can be used as the direct object of a verb when the action reflects on the subject. For example:
  • He cut himself while cutting an apple.
  • We enjoyed ourselves at the party.
  1. Reflexive pronouns are used after certain prepositions, including through, with, to, for, among, etc., when the action is accomplished using or relating to the issueAs an example:
  • She bought perfume for herself.
  • They talked among themselves.
  1. Reflexive pronouns are also used for emphasis, to emphasize the subject, or to add depth to the sentence. In such cases, the reflexive pronoun is not essential for the sentence’s grammatical shapefor example:
  • I made the decision myself.
  • The cat opened the cupboard all by itself.
  1. Reflexive pronouns should not be used when the action is not performed by the subject itself. For example, it would be incorrect to say:
  • She bought a gift for her.
  • He cut him while shaving.

These rules should help you understand and use reflexive pronouns correctly in English sentences.

Reflexive pronoun examples:

Basic Usage:

  • I woke up late and had to dress myself in a hurry.
  • You should always believe in yourself and your abilities.
  • He made himself a cup of coffee and sat down to read the news.
  • She blamed herself for the misunderstanding, even though it wasn’t her fault.
  • It curled itself up into a ball and went to sleep on the sunny windowsill.
  • We enjoyed ourselves at the party and danced until our feet hurt.
  • You all need to listen carefully and concentrate yourselves on the task at hand.
  • They built their treehouse themselves, using wood they collected from the forest.

Emphasis and Intensification:

  • I painted the entire room myself, from the ceiling to the floorboards.
  • She learned to play the guitar by herself, without taking any lessons.
  • He cooked the entire Thanksgiving dinner himself, surprising his entire family.
  • We made it to the summit ourselves, despite the challenging climb.
  • You can overcome any obstacle if you just put your mind to it and try your best.

Reflexive Verbs and Idioms:

  • He bragged himself up to the new employees, exaggerating his accomplishments.
  • She prided herself on her punctuality, and she always arrived on time.
  • They dug themselves into a hole with their careless spending habits.
  • We need to pull ourselves together and focus on finding a solution.
  • Don’t let yourself get discouraged by temporary setbacks.

Compound and Possessive Forms:

  • We helped ourselves to another slice of cake; it was too delicious to resist.
  • You should treat yourselves to a nice vacation after all that hard work.
  • He kept his true feelings to himself and didn’t share them with anyone else.
  • She gathered her things for herself and prepared to leave without saying goodbye.
  • They envied each other’s success, which created tension in their friendship.

Figurative Language and Special Cases:

  • The door opened by itself, sending chills down everyone’s spines.
  • Laughter echoed through the empty room as if someone were talking to themselves.
  • Time stands still for no one, so make the most of every moment.
  • History repeats itself, so we should learn from the mistakes of the past.
  • Be true to yourself and stay authentic, regardless of what others think.

Bonus Examples:

  • My cat likes to chase its tail and pretend it’s dangerous prey.
  • The computer automatically shuts itself down after a period of inactivity.
  • We should always strive to improve ourselves and become better versions of who we are.
  • The world is full of beauty waiting to be discovered, but only if we open ourselves up to it.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others; everyone is on their unique journey.
  • Sometimes, the best way to learn is to teach yourself and explore independently.
  • Embrace your individuality and express yourself freely, without holding back.
  • Treat others with the same respect and kindness that you would expect from yourself.
  • Remember, you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to; believe in yourself!
  • Live your life to the fullest and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
  • Never stop learning and growing; keep challenging yourself and expanding your horizons.
  • Be grateful for all the blessings in your life, big and small, and appreciate the journey itself.

I hope these examples provide you with a good understanding of how reflexive pronouns are used in various contexts!

Pronoun Define

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