Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns

 

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns are used when the action done by the subject refers back to the subject in a sentence or clause. Reflexive pronouns replace the object of a sentence when it refers to the same person or item in the subject. Reflexive Pronouns end in ‘-self’ (singular) or ‘-selves’ (plural).

There are eight Reflexive Pronouns:

Reflexive Pronouns
Person Number Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun
1st Person Singular I Myself
Plural We Ourselves
2nd Person Singular You Yourself
Plural You Yourselves
3rd Person Singular He Himself
She Herself
It Itself
Plural They Themselves

 

Examples:           

  • She saw herself in the mirror.
  • He blamed himself for the mistake.
  • My friend sent himself a copy of it.
  • Shravy burnt herself.
  • They have prepared themselves for the exam.
  • The children made a project themselves.
  • I enjoyed myself during the holidays.
  • Why can’t you help yourselves?

 

Reflexive Pronouns used after a Preposition:

  • He did it all by himself.
  • She went all by herself.
  • The boys finished all by themselves.

Note:

Reflexive Pronouns cannot be used as subjects.

  • Rekha and himself have not done anything wrong. (Incorrect)
  • Rekha and he have not done anything wrong. (Correct)

 

  • These paintings were done by himself. (Incorrect)
  • These paintings were done by him. (Correct)

 

  • You need not help myself or Jennifer. (Incorrect)
  • You need not help me or Jennifer. (Correct)

 

Emphatic Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns can also be used as Emphatic Pronouns. But their usage and function are different. The Emphatic Pronouns are also called Intensive Pronouns. Emphatic Pronouns are used to emphasize its antecedent (the earlier word to which it refers) and usually found right after the noun they are emphasising.

Examples:

  • They themselves did the entire project.
  • She herself committed suicide.
  • I myself have written this book.
  • We ourselves planned this tour.
  • The dog itself escaped from its owner.
  • The students themselves boycotted the classes.

 

The difference between Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns:

The difference between Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns                
Reflexive Pronouns Emphatic Pronouns
They are used to refer back to the subject in a sentence or clause. They are used to emphasize their antecedents (Noun or Pronoun)
They are an essential part of a sentence. They are a non-essential part of a sentence.
They are used as the object of a verb They are used right after the noun they are emphasising.
Examples Examples                                         
I have arranged it myself. I myself have arranged it.
Cinderella cleaned the room herself. Cinderella herself cleaned the room.
She has opened the box herself. She herself has opened the box.
We spoke to him ourselves. We ourselves spoke to him.
They have never done it themselves. They themselves have never done it.
The students have gathered here themselves. The students themselves have gathered here.
The dog never barked itself. The dog itself never barked.
The boy has done all the homework himself.  The boy himself has done all the homework.

 

Exercise 

Find out whether a pronoun is used as a Reflexive or an Emphatic in the following sentences. 

  1. I will do it myself. 
  2. She has hurt herself. 
  3. They finished the project themselves. 
  4. She herself has solved the problem.
  5. The building itself collapsed since it is an old one.
  6. I wrote the speech myself.
  7. We ourselves asked her for help.
  8. The boys themselves attended the classes. 
  9. The criminal hanged himself. 
  10. You don’t create troubles yourself.
  11. My brother himself has procured a lot of property.
  12. The children enjoyed themselves during holidays.
  13. I never hate myself.
  14. The convict himself admitted the crime.
  15. The door itself closed suddenly.

 

Answers:

  1. Reflexive, 2. Reflexive, 3. Reflexive, 4. Emphatic, 5. Emphatic, 6. Reflexive, 7. Emphatic, 8. Emphatic, 9. Reflexive, 10. Reflexive, 11. Emphatic, 12. Reflexive, 13. Reflexive, 14. Emphatic, 15. Emphatic