Words with self and selves | Grade 4 English Learning concepts Orchids
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Concept: Words with 'self' and 'selves'

What is a Reflexive Pronoun?

  • A reflexive pronoun is a type of pronoun that is used as the object of a verb. This pronoun shows that the action reflects back to the subject of the sentence.
  • In English, these words are the pronouns that end with ‘self’or ‘selves’:
  • Example:


    In the above sentence, ‘Herself’ is a reflexive pronoun because it refers to the same person as the object of the sentence.

Reflexive Pronouns Used with Personal Pronouns

Usually, reflexive pronouns are used with other pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject is doing an action by itself. This is especially helpful when using third person plural.

Personal Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
I myself
You yourself
He himself
Her herself
It itself
We ourselves
They themselves

Let's see reflexive pronouns in sentences.

  1. They entertained them.
  2. They entertained themselves.
  3. Nature-1
  • In the first sentence,‘Them’ referred to other people. In simple words, one group of singers are entertaining another group of people.
  • In the second sentence‘They’ stand for themselves.

Singular Reflexive Pronouns:

Singular reflexive pronouns are used when the subject is singular reflexive pronouns.



Common Errors with Reflexive Pronouns:

  1. There might be some situations where reflexive pronouns sound confusing if it is used at the beginning of the sentence.
    1. Ourselves were introduced by us.
    2. We introduced ourselves.
    1. Myself was cheered up by me.
    2. I cheered myself up.
  2. The most common mistake is to use a reflexive pronoun instead of a personal pronoun (I, me, he, she).
  3. Example:

    1. If you think you have any doubts, just ask myself.
    2. If you think you have any doubts, just ask me.
    • The first sentence is grammatically incorrect as the reflexive pronouns do not replace personal pronouns.
    • In sentence two, the sentence uses a personal pronoun.
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