We use reflexive pronouns when the subject and object of a sentence are the same person or non-person.
|1st person||I talk to myself when I am nervous or excited.|
|2nd person||You cut yourself while cutting tomatoes.|
|3rd person (male)||He hurt himself playing hockey.|
|3rd person (female)||She enjoyed herself at the party.|
|3rd person (non-person)||It saw itself in the mirror.|
|1st person||We blame ourselves for the results of the election.|
|2nd person||You helped yourselves to more ice cream.|
|3rd person||They believed in themselves.|
Reflexives in Imperative Sentences
In imperative sentences (where the subject YOU is omitted), we use yourself when talking to one person or yourselves when talking to more than one person.
- Don’t cut yourself with that knife. Please be careful.
- Hey guys. Help yourselves to more pizza.
Reflexives to Mean Alone
We use by + reflexive pronoun to mean alone or without any help.
- I did my homework by myself.
- You go to the movies by yourself.
- He ate dinner by himself.
- She fixed her car by herself.
- It got its food out of the cupboard by itself.
- We ruined everything by ourselves.
- You ate all of the ice cream by yourselves.
- They painted the house by themselves.