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Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns

Have you ever thrown a boomerang? If you throw it correctly, it will fly off in the distance, following a natural curve right back to your hand.

Reflexive pronouns work in a similar way. No, you don't throw them, but when they're added to a sentence, they arc back and refer to a noun or pronoun that was already mentioned.

The reflexive pronouns are:

  • myself
  • yourself
  • himself
  • herself
  • itself
  • ourselves
  • yourselves
  • themselves

When these words are used, they refer back to the same person or thing.


  • I bought a new shirt for myself.
  • My mom took herself on a vacation.
  • Sam saved the money for a new bike all by himself.
  • The CEOS voted to give themselves a raise.

In each sentence, the reflexive pronoun is referring to the same person or thing as the subject.

Reflexive Pronouns vs. Intensive Pronouns

Sometimes reflexive pronouns are confused with intensive pronouns.

Intensive pronouns are pronouns that emphasis (or intensity) to a sentence.


  • I myself am going to win that game.
  • Have you yourself ever been there?
  • You yourselves caused this negativity.

Intensive pronouns come directly after a pronoun and help emphasize a point. Reflective pronouns reflect back on the subject.