English Reflexive Pronouns
I - myself
you - yourself
he - himself
she - herself
it - itself
we - ourselves
you - yourselves
they - themselves
Here is a list of some of the most common reflexive verbs in English:
to enjoy oneself
to hurt oneself
to kill oneself
to market oneself
to convince oneself
to deny oneself
to encourage oneself
to pay oneself
Reflexive pronouns are used in three instances in English.
With Reflexive Verbs
I enjoyed myself last summer.
He's trying to market himself as a consultant.
Sharon pays herself $5,000 a month.
We encourage ourselves to learn something new every week.
As an Object of a Preposition Referring to Subject
Tom bought a motorcycle for himself.
They purchased a round trip ticket to New York for themselves.
We made everything in this room by ourselves.
Jackie took a weekend holiday to be by herself.
To Emphasize Something
No, I want to finish it myself! (I don't want anyone helping me.)
She insists on talking to the doctor herself. (She didn't want anyone else talking to the doctor.)
Frank tends to eat everything himself. (He doesn't let the other dogs get any food.)
Many languages such as Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Russian often use verb forms which employ reflexive pronouns. Here are some examples:
alzarsi - Italian / get up
cambiarsi - Italian / change clothes
sich anziehen - German / get dressed
sich erholen - German / get better
se baigner - French / to bathe, swim
se doucher - French / to shower
In English, reflexive verbs are much less common. Sometimes students make the mistake of translating directly from their native language and adding a reflexive pronoun when not necessary.
I get myself up, shower myself and have breakfast before I leave for work. SHOULD BE I get up, shower and have breakfast before I leave for work.
She becomes herself angry when she doesn't get her way. SHOULD BE She becomes angry when she doesn't get her way.