Reflexive Pronouns

 

We use reflexive pronouns when the subject and object of a sentence are the same person or non-person.

Singular
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.
Plural
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.