What are reflexive pronouns, English

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What are reflexive pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns are personal pronouns that are used to relate the action of the verb back to the subject.
The reflexive pronouns are as follows:



These are the only correct reflexive pronouns; there are no such words as "hisself," "theirselves," or "ourself."

How do I use reflexive pronouns?
They are most frequently used as a direct or indirect object.

Examples

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1. We found ourselves at a loss when he asked us to help him.
"Ourselves" serves as the direct object of the sentence.

2. They gave themselves a pat on the back when they saw the quality of their work.
"Themselves" serves as the indirect object in the sentence.

Reflexive pronouns can be used as the object of the preposition.

Examples

1. I did the work by myself.
"Myself" is the object of the preposition "by."

2. We were pleased with ourselves.
"Ourselves" is the object of the preposition with.

Reflexive pronouns can also be used (rarely) to intensify the meaning of the subject.

Examples
1. We ourselves are responsible.
"Ourselves" intensifies the meaning of "we." It implies more strongly that the responsibility lies with the subject.

2. He himself was the first to try the vaccine.
"Himself" intensifies the meaning of "he." It implies more strongly that he alone was the first.

Common mistakes using reflexive pronouns
Do not use reflexive pronouns where objective pronouns belong.

Example
Do not say: "The children did this for their father and myself."

The reflexive pronoun is designed to reflect back to the subject of the sentence. "Myself" does not refer to the subject of the sentence, the children.

Instead, say: "The children did this for their father and me."

Reflexive pronouns should never be used to replace a subject or subjective pronoun.

Example
Do not say: "My father and myself will come next week."

Since the reflexive pronoun is designed to reflect back to the subject, it can not be the subject.

Instead, say: "My father and I will come next week."


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