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Examples of sentences using reflexive pronouns


 My daughter likes to dress herself without my help.
 I taught myself to play the guitar.
 My cat always licks itself.

When to use reflexive pronouns
1. When the subject and the object refer to the same person or thing.

 He accidentally cut himself while he was chopping the vegetables.
 She bought a present for herself.
 We helped ourselves to the free drinks at the launch party.
 They injured themselves during the rugby match.
 I enjoyed myself at the concert.
 The dog is scratching itself – it must have fleas!

2. We use them for emphasis.

 The author signed the book for me herself!
 I did it myself.

3. In some cases we use it to have a similar meaning to also.

 Annabelle was pretty happy last night. I was pretty happy myself.

When NOT to use reflexive pronouns
1. There are a number of verbs in English with which we rarely or never use reflexive pronouns (as they are in other

They include: adapt, complain, concentrate, get up, hide, lie down, meet, move, relax, remember, shave, shower, sit

2. After a preposition of place or location we use a personal pronoun and not a reflexive pronoun.

 He put the backpack next to him.

Ourselves, Themselves and Each Other
1. We use each other when two or more people or things perform the same action to the other.

 Our neighbors were shouting at each other all night.
 My brothers always compete with each other in sport.

2. Take note of the difference between these two sentences:

 Mark and Sarah killed themselves. (They each committed suicide).
 Mark and Sarah killed each other. (Mark killed Sarah and she killed Mark).

More about Each Other
We use the reciprocal pronoun each other when the action is between two people, and not reflexive.

 They stared into each other's eyes.

By + Reflexive Pronouns We use by + myself/yourself/himself etc when we are alone or not with another person.  The hate each other. is very different to  Mike and Carol bought themselves presents for Christmas (Mike bought a present for himself and Carol bought a present for herself).  She cooked herself a quiche. We use verb + object + reflexive pronoun when we want to emphasize that another person did not do the action (or assist). Sentences and Phrases) when thedirect object is the same as the subject of the verb: I am teaching myself to play the piano.  Jacob went to the party by himself. These are the verbs most often found with reflexive pronouns: cut/dry/enjoy/hurt/introduce/kill/prepare/teach Some verbs change their meaning slightly when they have a reflexive pronoun as direct object: amuse/apply/busy/content/behave/blame/distance/express/find/help/see Would you like to help yourself to = Would you like to take another drink? another drink? I wish the children would behave = I wish the children would behave well. Reflexive Pronouns with Objects We use verb + reflexive pronoun + object when we do something for ourselves.  Emma was sitting by herself.  My brother spoke to his boss himself about a raise. And to make the contrast clearer:  Mike and Carol bought each other presents for Christmas (Mike bought a present for Carol and Carol bought a present for Mike). .  I repaired the tire myself. We use a reflexive pronoun after a transitive verb (see Clauses. You might cut yourself. Be careful with that knife.  They did the homework themselves.  We taught ourselves French. themselves.

(entretenerse) They blamed themselves for the They held themselves responsable for…(culparse) failure of the Project. We only use reflexives with these verbs for emphasis: He dressed himself in spite of his injuries./He always shaved before going out in the evening. I had to content myself with a few = I had to be satisfied with a few Euros. He doesn’t have any diffuculty in communicating with words. The boy amused himself playing with the computer. I really enjoyed I really enjoyed myself. = I imagined that I was a famous actor. NOTE: We do not use a reflexive pronoun after verbs which describe things people usually do for themselves: He washed in cold water. He found sth entertaining to do. I distanced myself from the group. we use a reflexive pronoun: They all enjoyed They all enjoyed themselves. If enjoy has no other object. .He found himself lying by the side He was surprised when he realised that he was at the side of = of the road. the road. Euros.(comunicar con palabras. He busied himself in the kitchen. I saw myself as a famous actor. = I kept away from the group. The verb enjoy always has an object: We all enjoyed the party. mending the lights./ Michael dressed and got ready for the party. /She’s old enough to wash herself. = He worked busily in the kitchen. I really enjoyed my lunch. (distanciarse) Preferring solitude. She applied herself to the job of = She worked very hard to mend the lights. expresarse) He doesn’t have any difficulty in expressing himself.