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  • Reflexive and reciprocal pronouns

    Exercise 1

    Choose the correct reflexive and reciprocal pronouns to complete the sentences below.

    1 I blame for what happened.

    2 She brought up her children .

    3 It's been a long time since we talked to .

    4 You need to shave before the interview.

    5 We are very proud of .

    6 The Vikings organised in clans and invaded many regions.

    7 She always takes the dog with when she goes out.

    8 This is the most stupid way of hurting I've ever heard of.

    9 Put the exam sheet in front of and start writing.

    10 I have to dress quickly or I'll be late.


  • Reflexive and reciprocal pronouns

    A grammar chart explaining reflexive and reciprocal pronouns. It includes examples, specific uses and general rules  for using pronouns like "myself," "yourself," "himself," and "each other" in sentences.

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    Reflexive pronouns

    The reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves. There is also a reflexive generic pronoun: oneself.

    Same subject and object

    Reflexive pronouns are normally used when a subject and an object are the same person.

    • She cut herself, chopping the onions. 
    • We really enjoyed ourselves at the party. 
    • Talking to oneself is not necessarily a sign of madness. 

    After preposition

    We can use reflexive pronouns after most prepositions if they refer back to the subject.

    • He should be really proud of himself
    • With the 3-D printer and this scanner, you can print a small version of yourself

    NOT after prepositions of place

    We don’t use reflexive pronouns after prepositions of place; we use object pronouns instead.

    • She left her handbag in the chair in front of herself. blank
    • She left her handbag in the chair in front of her. blank
    • They put their luggage behind them

    And we don’t use reflexive pronouns after with when it means ‘accompanied by’.

    • He took his son with him.

    To emphasise who did the action

    We also use a reflexive pronoun to emphasise that the subject does the action and nobody else. In this sense, we can use the reflexive at the end of the sentence or after the subject.

    • I will talk to Anna myself
    • I think you should do it yourself instead of having it done. 
    • Paul himself designed everything. 

    By oneself

    We can say by myself, by yourself, etc. to mean ‘alone, without anybody else’, or also to mean ‘without anybody’s help’.

    • My son doesn’t like to be by himself; he always wants us around. 
    • She raised her four children by herself

    We can also say on my own, on your own, etc.

    • I was on my own all morning.
    • She did it on her own.

    Verbs with NO reflexive pronoun

    Students of English often make mistakes when they use some verbs which are used reflexively in their language but not in English. Some of these verbs are dress, shave, wash, relax, hurry, or open.

    • The first thing I do is wash, shave, and dress myself. blank
    • The first thing I do is wash, shave, and dress. blank
    • When I arrive home, I only want to relax on the sofa. 
    • Please hurry, or we’ll be late. 
    • The door opened, and everybody got in. 

    Reciprocal pronouns

    We use each other or one another when person A does something to person B and person B does something to person A.

    • When the twins found each other, they had been living apart for more than ten years. 
    • You should try to understand one another

    We also can use the possessive forms each other’s and one another’s.

    • The lovers were found in each other’s arms. 
    • The couple enjoyed one another’s company so much that they soon decided to move in together. 
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