English Grammar

Reflexive pronoun definition/Classifications/List/self and selves

The pronouns reflexive (reflexive pronouns) are terms used in English phrases when the subject of prayer practices action on them. Reflexive pronoun definition

When the subject is the active and suffering of the action, it is implicit that it is a reflexive case, as in the phrase “The dog is licking itself”. (The dog is licking itself).
Reflexive pronouns are terms ending in “self” or “selves”. In the example above, it can be identified that the reflexive pronoun is “itself”.

Difference between self and selves

As stated above, the endings self and selves function as indicative of reflexive pronouns. However, the difference is in the reference to the singular or plural. Reflexive pronoun definition
The ending self is used for singular persons such as: I, You, He / Her and It.  The selves ending is used for plural persons such as: We, Your and They.

What are reflexive pronouns in English?

 myself myself, me I looked at myself in the photo. (I looked at myself in the photo).
 Yourself To you, yourself, yourself, yourself How do you describe yourself? (How do you describe yourself?)
 Himself himself, himself, himself He does not know himself.
 herself To itself, to itself, to itself She takes care of herself. (She takes care of herself).
 itself Yourself, yourself The dog is licking itself. (The dog is licking itself).
 Ourselves Ourselves, us We love ourselves. (We love each other).
 Yourselves To you, to yourselves, to yourselves, to yourself You should love yourselves. (You should love yourselves).
 Themselves To themselves, to themselves, to themselves, They are proud of themselves. (They are proud of themselves).


Note : reflexive pronouns can also be used with nouns to signify one of the subject’s persons (“me”, “you”, “him”, “her”, etc) and “nobody else”.  Reflexive pronoun definition
Example : Did you do this homework yourself or did you get help? (Did you do this homework yourself or did you get help?).

List of reflexive pronouns and personal pronouns in English

The pronouns personal ( personal pronouns in English ) have corresponding pronouns for each person of the subject. Thus, reflexive pronouns also have pronouns that relate to personal pronouns.
Check out this relationship in the table below: Reflexive pronoun definition
 Personal Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
 I myself
 you Yourself
 he Himself
her herself
 It itself
 we Ourselves
 you Yourselves
 they Themselves

Classifications of reflexive pronouns

1. Reflective function
It’s the most common type. In this case, the action of the verb happens to the subject itself and the pronoun agrees with the subject of the sentence, appearing after it. Reflexive pronoun definition
Example : The dog is licking itself. (The dog is licking itself).
Note : the reflexive pronoun itself is used for animals, objects or things.
The dog is licking itself / The dog is licking itself. (Photo: Pixabay).

2. Idiom function

It is when the subject performs an action alone, dispensing help from someone. It is indicated by the preposition “by”, preceding the reflexive pronoun.

Example : Sometimes Adryanna prefers to be by himself. (Sometimes Adryanna prefers to be/be alone).

3. Emphatic function

As the name announces, it is the pronoun used to emphasize the subject who practices the action of the speech. In this case, the pronoun will agree with the subject, being able to appear after him or after the object in the sentence.

Example : Diana wrote the letter herself. (Diana herself wrote the letter).

4. Reciprocal reflexive pronouns (reciprocal pronouns)

The reciprocal reflexive pronouns ( reciprocal pronouns) are expressed by “Each other” and “One another” to refer to more than one person or thing in the dialogue. Reflexive pronoun definition

There is a basic difference between reflexive pronouns and reciprocal pronouns. For example, in the phrase “They looked at themselves in the mirror” (They looked at themselves in the mirror), it is a reflective case because each of the subjects is the sufferer of their own action (they looked in the mirror). Unlike when it is said “They looked at each other lovingly” (They looked at each other lovingly), because in that sense they looked at each other and not at themselves. Therefore, it is a reciprocal case.

Thus, each other is used for when, in the sentence, the subject makes reference to two things or to two people indicating reciprocity. one another should be used when the subject of the sentence refers to more than two people or things, also indicating a reciprocal relationship.

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