In Grammar By Victoria

Reflexive pronouns in English

Another group of pronouns are reflexive pronouns in the English language (reflexive pronouns / self-pronouns). These pronouns have the following forms:

I — myself (myself)

You — yourself (you yourself)

He — himself (he)

She — herself (she)

It — itself (it itself)

We — ourselves (we are)

You — yourselves (you)

They — themselves (they)

One — oneself (self)

Reflexive pronouns in English are called, because they are used to express the category of repayment. A reflexivity we have seen in the case when the subject and complement in the offer are one and the same person (the subject). Category repayment can also express the importance of the mutual action of two or more manufacturers. In the Russian language, we pass by a suffix repayment Xia (-s): dress, cut, make up, kiss, etc. In English, the same category may be transmitted via:

  • the verb in the active voice (to come upstairs — raising smiling upward, to part — part Xia, to dress — dress smiling, etc.)
  • the verb in the passive voice (This house is being built at the moment. — The house is now building to be)
  • design «verb + reflexive pronoun» (help yourself — are treated to be)
  • phrasal verb or a combination of sustainable (to come back — to return Xia, to give up — to hand over Xia, can not help doing something — I can not help not to do something).

The use of reflexive pronouns in English

The proposal reflexive pronouns in the English language can not serve as a member of the sentence, but a few: the direct or indirect additions determine the predicate, the circumstances of manner. For example:

  1. She has cut herself. — She had cut herself. (direct object)
  2. I work for myself. — I work for myself. (indirect)
  3. They will solve their problems themselves. — They will decide for themselves their problems. (circumstance)
  4. You are not quite yourself today. — You’re not yourself today (at ease). (predicates)
  5. How can we confront the dark parts of ourselves? — How can we confront our dark side? (definition)

In some cases, we resort to the use of reflexive pronouns in the English language? We use them to:

  1. With some verbs when the subject and complement related to the verb, are one and the same person: behave — to behave, burn — burned, cut — cut yourself, enjoy — have fun, hurt — hurt, introduce — submitted, look at — look at , teach — learning, etc.

    Will you introduce yourself, young man? — You imagine a young man?

    Be careful, you can hurt yourself! — Be careful, you can get hurt!

    The party was great. We enjoyed ourselves very much. — The party was wonderful. We had fun from the soul.

    I’m trying to teach myself English. — I’m trying to learn English.

    But take note that reflexive pronouns we do not use after the prepositions of place.

    He closed the door behind him. — He closed the door behind him.

    She had a suitcase beside her. — She had a suitcase beside him.

  2. On the pretext by, when the expression means «myself alone.» There are two points: the expression of the preposition by and reflexive pronoun can mean that someone carries out any act alone, without the company or escort. In this case such an expression is synonymous with the phrase on one’s own (by itself, on its own). The second value — the combination of an excuse by a reflexive pronoun can mean that someone is performing something on their own, without any help.

    She likes living by herself (= on her own). — She likes to live alone (without anyone)

    Are you going on holiday by yourself? (= On your own). — You’re going to go on vacation alone? (alone, without the company)

    Can he do it by himself? — He can do it myself? (without any help)

    Jane and Carol can not lift the piano by themselves. — Jane and Carol can not themselves raise piano. (without any help)

  3. In such expressions as: enjoy yourself (to have fun), behave yourself (well behave), help yourself (feast), find oneself (to find oneself), amuse oneself (fun), do it yourself (DIY), pinch oneself (deny myself in anything), take care of oneself (care of someone), and others.

    The sick man can not take care of himself. — Sick man can not take care of themselves.

    Make yourself comfortable and help yourself to the cake. — Settle (feel at home) and help yourself cake.

    I found myself alone in a strange city. — I found myself alone in a strange city.

    Collect yourself, you are a man! — Pull yourself together, you’re a man!

  4. To enhance the value of subject or object in the sentence.

    I myself baked the cake. — I baked the cake itself.

    He said it himself. — He said it.

    The book itself was not very interesting. — The book itself was not interesting.

    The composer himself conducted the orchestra. — The composer himself (personally) conducted the orchestra.

Usually after these verbs we use reflexive pronouns in English: to dress — dress up, to hide — to hide, to wash — to wash, to bathe — swimming, to shave — shaving. But if we are to show that man has done something, or has made an effort to do something, you can add these pronouns.

Hide behind the wall. — Hide behind the wall.

She likes to bathe in the lake. — She likes to swim in the lake.

I had a broken finger, but I managed to dress myself. — I had a broken finger, but I was able to dress herself.

An exception is the verb to dry (dry, dry off). He always used with reflexive pronouns to dry oneself:

She quickly dried herself and dressed in the silk nightgown. — She quickly dried off and put on a silk nightgown.

Remember! Reflexive pronouns in the English language does not need to be used after a verb to feel (feel), to concentrate (focus), to relax (relaxing), to meet (meet), to kiss — a kiss (and other Russian verbs that express the importance of reciprocal action ). Also, they are not used in the expression to take / to bring something with (take with you, bring along).

I feel good! — I feel good (not to mention I feel good myself)

We shall meet later. — We’ll meet later (not to mention We shall meet ourselves later)

When I leave, I will take this bag with me. — When I leave, I’ll take this bag with you (do not say I will take this bag with myself)

There are two small nuance concerning reflexive pronouns in the English language, to be brought to the attention, as they help you to understand the values ​​and not to make mistakes in the future.

  • We know that the reflexive pronouns in the English language of the reflexive pronoun in the Russian language ‘myself, yourself, themselves, about themselves, and so on. » In English, it can lead to some confusion. To know exactly whether to use a particular case, a return or a personal pronoun, mentally substitute offer in the word «myself.» For example:

I bought myself a new car. — I bought a new car. (I bought herself)

Look at yourself! — Look at you. (by itself)

If you substitute the word «he» in the sense does not work, we use the personal pronoun in the objective case:

She put a pile of papers before her. — She put a stack of papers in front of him.

I would like to take you with me. — I’d like to take you with me.

  • Note the difference in values: selves and each other.

Mother and father stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves. — Mom and Dad are standing before a mirror and look at yourself (= Mom and Dad look at my father and mother — reflection in the mirror)

Mother looks at father and father looks at mother. They look at each other. — Mom looks at Dad, Dad looks at his mother. They look at each other. (= they look at each other)

Here such here at the same time simple and sometimes complex reflexive pronouns in English.

This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:

  • «The personal pronouns in English»
  • «Possessive pronouns in the English language»

After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «Test # 1 on the use of pronouns in the English language.»



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