17 January, 2009

Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns

A pronoun that ends in self or selves is either a reflexive or an intensive pronoun.

Reflexive Pronouns:

A reflexive pronoun refers to the subject and directs the action of the verb back to the subject. Reflexive pronouns are necessary to the meaning of a sentence

Notice: that if you drop the reflexive pronoun, the sentence no longer makes sense. (Ben Carson dedicated to becoming a doctor.)

Intensive Pronouns
An intensive pronoun emphasizes a noun or another pronoun within the same sentence. Intensive pronouns are not necessary to the meaning of the sentence.

  • You yourself have overcome many hardships.
  • Dr. Carson himself has survived great poverty.

Notice:that when you drop the intensive pronoun, the sentence still makes sense. (Dr. Carson has survived great poverty.)
Avoid the use of hisself and theirselves, which are grammatically incorrect. Use himself and themselves instead.

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