Reflexive Pronouns for intermediate learners

Reflexive Pronouns are used to show that the subject and object of a sentence are exactly the same person or thing or there is a direct connection between them.

"Reflexive Pronouns" in English Grammar

What Are Reflexive Pronouns?

Whenever the subject and the object are the same in a sentence, we use reflexive pronouns in order to avoid repetition. Below is a table of reflexive pronouns in English:

Singular Plural
First Myself Ourselves
Second Yourself Yourselves
Third Himself, Herself, Itself Themselves


Although in many cases, the second-person singular and plural pronouns are the same, here they are different. Remember to use each according to the structure needed.

Let us take a look at the examples below:

She immediately drowned herself in the river.

Here, the reflexive pronoun is used as the object.

I've started talking positively to myself.


We can also use an object pronoun instead of a reflexive pronoun but remember that it is only possible when we are talking about the first person singular pronoun. Look at the following example:

I saw me in the water. (Also, I saw myself in the water).

Not she saw her in the ….


We can use these reflexive pronouns in many different contexts. However, here we are going to talk about their two main purposes:

  • When the subject and the object are the same
  • When we have a reflexive verb

When the Subject and the Object Are the same

It happens sometimes that the object and subject are the same in a sentence, in such cases, we can use reflexive pronouns to avoid repetition. Look at the following examples:

She took herself on a fancy ride last week.

As you can see, the subject is talking about herself so a reflexive pronoun is used.

I hurt myself when I was cooking yesterday.

When We Have a Reflexive Verb

Some verbs in English take an object that is the same as their subject. They are called reflexive verbs. Look at the table to learn some common reflexive verbs in English:

Reflexive Verbs Their Meanings
Take oneself to go on a trip
Enjoy oneself to have a good time
Welcome oneself to take pleasure in what you are doing
Help oneself to eat or drink

Let us look at some examples now:

He took himself on a trip yesterday.

She welcomed herself to a warm bath at my place.


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