Grammar: Reflexive Pronouns

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In English, reflexive pronouns are really useful for when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same person or thing. These pronouns help make sentences clearer and avoid confusion. They are used in the same way in both British and American English. Let's look at what reflexive pronouns are and how to use them:

  • What are Reflexive Pronouns?: Reflexive pronouns are special words used when the person who is doing the action in a sentence is also the one receiving the action. They usually end in "-self" or "-selves."

  • List of Reflexive Pronouns:

    • For just one person: 'myself', 'yourself', 'himself', 'herself', 'itself'.
    • For more than one person: 'ourselves', 'yourselves', 'themselves'.
  • When to Use Reflexive Pronouns:

    • When the person doing the action is also the one affected by it. For example, "She looked at herself in the mirror."
    • For emphasizing who did the action. Like, "I baked this cake myself."
  • Not Using Reflexive Pronouns Wrongly: It's important not to use reflexive pronouns when they aren't needed. For example, you wouldn't say "She gave herself to me the book." Instead, it's "She gave me the book."

  • Reflexive Pronouns in Everyday Language: These pronouns are used a lot in everyday speech and writing. They help to make sentences sound more natural and less repetitive.

  • Using Reflexive Pronouns Correctly: Making sure the reflexive pronoun matches the subject of the sentence is important. For example, "We did it ourselves" – 'ourselves' matches with 'we'.

Understanding reflexive pronouns is key to making your English sound more natural and clear. They help to show who is doing an action and who is receiving it, which is a big part of everyday communication.