Reflexive pronouns

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Grammar

Reflexive pronouns add information to a sentence by pointing back to a noun or pronoun near the beginning of the sentence. Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves. The English reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.

Emphatic pronouns also end in -self or -selves, but they just add emphasis to the noun or pronoun.


Reflexive pronouns are used to talk about actions where the subject and object are the same person.

A reflexive pronoun can refer to other things besides the subject of a clause.

Emphatic use

We can use reflexive pronouns as subject or object emphasisers to mean 'that person/thing and nobody/nothing else'.

Reflexives used instead of personal pronouns

Reflexives are often used instead of personal pronouns after as, like, but (for) and except (for).

Reflexives not used

Certain verbs are not used with reflexive pronouns in English. Examples are: open, sell, concentrate, feel etc.

Sections in this article

Pronouns New!
Personal pronouns New!
Possessive pronouns New!
Reflexive pronouns New!
Uses of It New!
Pronouns Exercise New!