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Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns reflect back to the subject of a sentence. The English reflexive pronouns are: myselfyourselfhimselfherselfitselfourselvesyourselves, and themselves. Each one can only be used with its personal pronoun counterpart when that personal pronoun is the subject of the sentence:

Personal PronounReflexive PronounA Sample Sentence
ImyselfI hurt myself again.
youyourselfYou can do it yourself.
hehimselfHe enjoyed himself.
sheherselfShe helped herself to some candy.
ititselfIt destroyed itself in a few seconds.
weourselvesWe found ourselves in a strange city.
youyourselvesYou must clean yourselves up before dinner.
theythemselvesThey accidentally burned themselves.

If the reflexive pronoun and the personal pronoun are not counterparts, then personal pronouns should be used in the sentence. Look at these examples:

CounterpartsNot Counterparts
I hurt myself again.I hurt him again. I hurt them again.
He enjoyed himself.He enjoyed it. He enjoyed them.
They harmed themselves.They harmed me. They harmed her.

Remember that third-person singular and plural nouns will use the appropriate third-person singular and plural reflexive pronouns:

  • Marta bought herself a new car.
  • The boy cut himself.
  • The alien creature wounded itself with its own claws.
  • The men helped themselves to some beer.

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