Reflexive Pronouns – Examples & Rules

We make use of pronouns daily. Not just in our speech but also when we are writing. They are an essential part of English grammar that one needs to be very thorough about.

Pronouns are simply words that replace nouns. Pronouns have several divisions within themselves, and all of them carry specific functions. A reflexive pronoun is one amongst them, and it is also amongst the commonly used pronouns.

Reflexive pronouns are basically words that we use to indicate that a person or the subject is doing something to or by itself. Let us discuss how and when can reflexive pronouns be used to bring out the right meaning.

What are reflexive pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns are words used to refer to someone doing something by or to itself. It indicates that the subject is engaging with itself, and there is no action taken upon other things or objects.

In short, a reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that is used when the subject and the object are the same. There is no involvement of outside forces, and the subject is independent of any other.

Reflexive pronouns are myself, himself, themselves, themselves, herself, yourself, yourselves, oneself, and itself.

Let us look at some examples;

  • I think I can do this myself.
  • They carried out all the events themselves.
  • She brought herself some food.
  • I taught myself how to cook.
  • Everything is in the city itself.

Usage of the reflexive pronoun

As mentioned earlier, reflexive nouns are used when the subject and the object are the same in a sentence. That means it is a pronoun that refers back to the noun in a sentence.

Reflexive pronouns can refer to both singular nouns and plural nouns. It can indicate an individual as well as a group of people.

For example;

  • I bought myself a cake.
  • They believe in themselves.

While using a reflexive noun, one should know that they always end with self or selves. It connects back to the same noun or pronoun and shows the action is taken by or to the same noun or pronoun.

So, it is to realize that reflexive pronouns act as the object of a sentence. And it can be either an indirect or direct object depending on the sentence and situation. They refer back to the subjects and acts as the object with a verb preceding it. Hence, it shows that the subject and the object are the same.

Reflexive pronouns as direct objects are the same as the subjects, and they are considered one. They are at the same end.

For example;

  • I have been preparing myself for this competition for so long.
  • They decided to reward themselves with sweets and chocolates.

Reflexive pronouns as indirect objects indicate for what or whom a particular action is being taken.

For example;

  • She gave herself a nice dress as a celebration.
  • I bought myself a beating plant.

So these are the rules and points that one needs to understand and remember to make correct use of reflexive pronouns.

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