When you look in a mirror you see your own reflection, i.e. you see yourself. 'Yourself' is an example of a reflexive pronoun. Just as a mirror reflects your image, so does a reflexive pronoun reflect the subject pronoun!
Reflexive pronouns are used in two different ways:
RULE A – When the subject and object is the same thing. In this case the reflexive pronoun is needed in the understanding of the meaning of the sentence.
e.g."She looks at herself in the mirror." (She and herself is the same person)
RULE B – For extra emphasis. In this case the reflexive pronoun is not needed in the understanding of the meaning of the sentence.
e.g. "He baked the cake himself."
Choose a pronoun from the box below for each sentence. Some are object pronouns. When a reflexive pronoun fits in a sentence, decide whether it is RULE A or RULE B.
Lesson by Danica, EC Cape Town English school
- 1) She looked at in the bathroom mirror.
- 2) Did you hear about Fred and Amy? He asked to go out with him!
- 3) I taught how to speak English, I never had a teacher.
- 4) The dog had fleas and was scratching the whole day!
- 5) Nobody wanted to help them, so they cleaned the streets .
- 6) Bobby is a bit crazy. He always sits alone and talks to .
- 7) Wow! Did you write this book ?
- 8) They blame for the accident, because they didn’t pay attention to road signs.
- 9) James forgot Susan’s birthday, but she told not to worry.
- 10) We painted the house . Nobody helped us!