Reflexive Pronouns


A reflexive pronoun is a special kind of pronoun. It is usually used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject, as you will see below. Each personal pronoun (such as I, you, and she) has its own reflexive form. This introduction will explain what the different forms of reflexive pronouns are, and when they are used.

The forms of reflexive pronouns

Personal Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun
I myself
you (singular) yourself
you (plural) yourselves
he himself
she herself
it itself
we ourselves
they themselves

When to use a reflexive pronoun

Reflexive pronouns are used in three main situations.

  1. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and object are the same.

    I hurt myself.
    The band call themselves “Dire Straits”.
    He shot himself.

  2. They are used as the object of a preposition, when the subject and the object are the same.

    I bought a present for myself.
    She did it by herself. (She did it alone.)
    That man is talking to himself.

  3. They are used when you want to emphasize the subject.

    I'll do it myself. (No one else will help me.)
    They ate all the food themselves. (No one else had any.)

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.