What Is a Reflexive Pronouns? With Rules, Uses and examples

I’m sure that after the lesson you’ll easily learn all the secrets of Reflexive Pronouns. The topic of our session today is reflexive pronouns.

What is a Reflexive Pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns indicate that the person who implements the action of the verb is also the recipient of the action. In English grammar such pronouns are used with verbs in the sense of the return of an action to yourself.

Let’s see the structure: subject + action + object.
In this case, subject and object are the same.

  1. I entertain myself.
  2. My daughter is learning to dress herself.
  3. I hardly know myself again.

Reflexive pronouns are formed by adding self or selves as a suffix.

For clarity, we will compile a table:

  1. Myself
  2. Yourself (singular)
  3. Himself
  4. Herself
  5. Itself
  6. Yourselves
  7. Themselves
  8. Ourselves
  9. Oneself

Note: Pay attention to the difference in the plural when we use YOU.

  1. Yourself – Used for the singular you.
  2. Yourselves – Used for the plural you.

Reflexive pronouns show that the subject acts on himself instead of acting on another object, literally or figuratively. Let’s illustrate the difference in meaning, which is noticeable when using the third person plural.

Let’s check the following two examples:

  1. They like them.
    In this example a group of people ‘them’ can be any. It doesn’t mean that them is the same group as they.
  2. They like themselves.
    ‘Themselves’ is the reflexive pronoun. And in this example, it is clear that themselves is the same group as they the action of the subject, or the group of people They is aimed at the same object, which is reflected by the reflexive pronoun themselves.

We use reflexive pronouns in the following cases:

  • When the subject and the object in the same sentence are the same person.

For example:

  1. We injured ourselves during the game.
  2. She bought a bag for herself.
  • To emphasize that something is made or done personally.

For example:

  1. I did it myself.
  2. I’m making a fool of myself.
  • To reflect the meaning of ‘also, too’ in some cases.

For example:

Raj was very happy yesterday. I was happy myself.

  • To emphasize that the person has made the action independently or alone we apply the construction ‘by + reflexive pronoun’.

For example:

Raj went to the party by herself.

Cases when we do not apply reflexive pronouns:

There are a number of verbs to which the reflexive pronouns do not apply.

  1. These are such commonly used verbs as adapt, meat, getup, complain, remember, shave, move, relax, hide, sit down, concentrate, Etc.
  2. After the preposition of place (location), we apply the personal pronoun. For example: She put the bag near to her.
Let’s look at the pronouns each other, themselves, ourselves.
What’s the difference?:

Each other: It is used to reflect that two or more people are doing the same thing in relation to each other. In other words, when the action is between two or more people.

Themselves / Ourselves: It is used to reflect that the action is performed to ourselves.


Mary and John love each other.
It means that Mary loves John and John loves Mary.

Mari and John love themselves.
It means that both Mary loves herself and John loves himself.

Let’s check how you understand this topic:

Here some examples of reflexive pronoun:

  1. He paid for himself.
  2. The cat came home for itself.
  3. I went to the garage by myself.
  4. We can’t do it ourselves.
  5. It seems you don’t respect yourself

In order to quickly Master the pronouns, set a goal to use them in a sentence at every opportunity replacing the name of objects. persons the results you will notice immediately.

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2 thoughts on “What Is a Reflexive Pronouns? With Rules, Uses and examples”

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