Himself

'Himself' is a reflexive pronoun that refers to 'he.' In this part, we will go through its uses and grammatical rules in English grammar.

How to Use "Himself" in the English Grammar

Himslef is known as a reflexive pronoun but here we will learn another function of 'himself' as well.

Functions of 'Himself'

1. 'Himself' as a Reflexive Pronoun

Himself as a reflexive pronoun is used when the subject and the object both refer to the third-person masculine subject. Himself can be the direct object, the indirect object, or the object of a preposition. Himself is also a subject complement. Here are its uses and some examples:

1.1 'Himself' as a Direct Object

Use

Himself as a reflexive pronoun is used to receive the action of the sentence. For example:

John is teaching himself self-defense.

'Himself' refers to 'he.'

He loves himself.

Position in a Sentence

Himself as a direct object is placed after the verb. For example:

John is teaching himself self-defense.

'Himself' is the direct object and used after the verb.

He loves himself.

1.2 'Himself' as an Indirect Object

Use

Himself as an indirect object is used to show who receives the direct object, so a direct object is needed in a sentence with an indirect object. For example:

Harry is baking himself a birthday cake.

'A cake' is the direct object and 'himself' is the indirect object and shows 'Harry' is the recipient of 'a cake.'

Position in a Sentence

The indirect object is usually used before a direct object. For example:

Harry is baking himself a birthday cake.

'Himself' is an indirect object and 'a birthday cake' is a direct object.

1.3 'Himself' as the Object of a Preposition

Use

Himself is an object introduced by a preposition, the reason why it is called the object of a preposition. For example:

He is making a cake for himself.

He keeps everything to himself.

I think he needs help. He won't be able to carry that many boxes all by himself.

Position in a Sentence

Himself as an object of a preposition is used after the preposition. Look:

He keeps everything to himself.

1.4 'Himself' as a Subject Complement

Use

Himself can be a subject complement and used after the linking verbs to complete the meaning of the subject. For example:

He haven't been himself since he met his mother.

'Himself' is the subject complement.

Position in a Sentence

Himself as a subject complement comes after linking verbs. For example:

Therapy doesn't always work. He doesn't seem like himself.

'Seem' is a linking verb.

He tries to be himself.

2. 'Himself' as an Emphatic Pronoun

Use

Himself can also be used as an emphatic pronoun. Emphatic pronouns emphasize the doer of the action and once erased from a sentence, the meaning is not affected. For example:

He couldn't have done all of that himself.

He is lazy. He can easily finish the task himself.

Position in a Sentence

Himself as an emphatic pronoun comes either at the end of the sentence or after the subject. For example:

He couldn't have done all of that himself.

'Himself' is at the end of the sentence.

He himself can do it.

'Himself' comes after the subject.

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