Today, I’ll take you through reflexive pronouns and their uses. I think this is a very interesting topic because reflexive pronouns are used differently in different countries.

Before we find out about their uses, we need to know exactly what they are.

Reflexive pronouns include myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves, and they have two jobs.

1. They refer to a subject that is the same thing or person as the object.

I took myself out of the running.
She hit herself on the head and fell to the ground.
They taught themselves to play musical instruments.

2. They provide emphasis.

The author delivered the proofs himself!
The kids were so excited. I was pretty excited myself.
She, herself, would add the finishing touch.

The key thing to remember about reflexive pronouns is that each one must reflect an antecedent—a previously mentioned word to which it refers. Personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, you [plural], and they) do not take antecedents; they are merely substitutes for the more specific noun.

For example, in the sentence You are reading this grammar tip, there is no previously mentioned word (antecedent) to which you can refer. In the sentence You are reading this grammar tip yourself, the reflexive pronoun yourself refers to you, which is its antecedent.

Reflexive pronouns are often used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same person or thing. It can also be used to emphasize that a certain person did an action, not another person.

‘Adam baked the cake himself’. [This shows only he cooked the cake, no one helped him with it.]

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