Reflexive And Emphatic Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns

When words like myself, yourself, ourselves, itself etc., are used as the object of a verb, they are called reflexive pronouns. We use reflexive pronouns when the object refers to the same person as the subject.

I enjoyed myself.
He hurt himself.
She praised herself.
They patted themselves on the back.

A reflexive pronoun can be used after a preposition.

He was beside himself with rage.
I did it all by myself.

Reflexive pronouns exercise

Correct the following sentences.

1. No one understands me better than yourself.
2. Peter and myself went together.
3. They have selected John and myself.
4. Myself wrote this poem.

Answers

1. No one understands me better than you.
2. Peter and I went together.
3. They have selected John and me.
4. I wrote this poem.

Explanation

The reflexive pronoun should be used only when the object refers to the same person as the subject. In the above examples the object and the subject are different people or things.

Emphatic Pronouns

When words like myself, yourself, himself, itself etc., are used for the sake of emphasis they are called emphatic pronouns.

I myself wrote this poem.
They themselves admitted it.
The announcement was made by the Principal himself.

Emphatic pronouns are usually placed immediately after the noun or pronoun which they emphasize. Sometimes, they follow at a distance.

He said so himself. OR He himself said so.

Pronouns Exercise

Correct the following sentences.

1. We enjoyed very much.
2. They have invited my wife and myself.
3. Myself have decided to go.
4. I and Peter will be attending the party.
5. He wants to meet John and yourself.

Answers

1. We enjoyed ourselves very much. (Enjoy is a transitive verb. All transitive verbs require an object.)
2. They have invited my wife and me.
3. I have decided to go.
4. Peter and I will be attending the party. (Good manners require that I should come last in expressions of this kind.)
5. He wants to meet John and you.

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