The reflexive pronouns are:
Singular: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself
Plural: ourselves, yourselves, themselves
Reflexive pronouns are used after certain verbs such as: cut, burn, enjoy, hurt, look at, amuse, dry, kill, satisfy, teach, etc. We use them when the subject and the object of the verb are the same person.
I made myself a salad.
He cut himself while shaving.
We are looking at ourselves in the mirror.
Notice the difference between yourself and yourselves:
Milly, you can hurt yourself with this sharp knife.
Rebecca and Alex, you can hurt yourselves.
We do not use reflexive pronouns after the verbs relax, feel, concentrate, meet.
I feel nervous. I can’t concentrate. (not I can’t concentrate myself).
Shall we meet at 5 o’clock? (not shall we meet ourselves)
Reflexive prepositions cannot be used after a preposition of place. We normally use object pronouns after them.
I don’t have my telephone with me.
He saw a man standing next to him.
We can use BY to emphasize that the subject of the verb did something alone.
I cleaned the house by myself.
Mary travelled to Turkey all by herself.
Take a look at these expressions with reflexive pronouns:
Enjoy yourselves at the party!
Start behaving yourselves, children!
Make yourself at home!
Help yourself to a drink!
Fill in the gaps with the appropriate pronoun:
- Norman is looking at _________ in the mirror.
- I can’t pay for_______. Would you lend me some money?
- Oliver and Terry had to amuse _______ while their mother was in the kitchen.
- I’m so sorry I didn’t bring my camera with ______.
- If you want to succeed, you must believe in _______.
- We enjoyed _______ at the party last night.
- Laura is drying ______ with a towel.
- The cat is licking ________.
- Our children prepared lunch __________.
- I could never do it ________!
Key: 1.himself, 2. myself, 3. themselves, 4. me, 5. yourself, 6. ourselves, 7. herself, 8. itself, 9. by themselves, 10. by myself