Access a collection of 101 printable PDF worksheets focusing on the English grammar topic of the reflexive pronouns.
Download fill-in-the-blank tests with exercises and answer keys for reflexive pronouns to print for free.
The activities in the sheets are suitable for kids, adults, ESL learners at the beginner, elementary, and intermediate levels to practice English grammar.
Reflexive Pronouns and Their Role in English Grammar
In English grammar, reflexive pronouns play a crucial role in indicating that the subject and object of a sentence refer to the same person or thing. These pronouns are used to reflect the action back onto the subject, emphasizing that the subject is both performing and receiving the action. The most common reflexive pronouns are "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself", "ourselves", "yourselves", and "themselves."
Reflexive Pronouns and Their Role:
Reflexive pronouns are a specific type of pronoun used to show that the subject and object of a sentence refer to the same person or thing. Their primary function is to reflect the action back onto the subject, indicating that the subject is both performing and receiving the action. This helps to add clarity and specificity to sentences, especially in cases where the subject's action is directed towards themselves.
Using Reflexive Pronouns to Indicate Self-Action:
The reflexive pronouns in English are "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself", "ourselves", "yourselves", and "themselves." When used in a sentence, they indicate that the subject is performing an action to or for themselves. For example, "I hurt myself" or "She taught herself."
Emphatic Use of Reflexive Pronouns:
Reflexive pronouns can be used for emphasis, drawing special attention to the subject's involvement in the action. By adding the reflexive pronoun, the speaker or writer emphasizes that the subject is personally and actively engaged in the action. For instance, "I myself witnessed the event" or "They themselves decided to take the challenge."
Reflexive Pronouns with Specific Prepositions:
Reflexive pronouns are often used with specific prepositions to indicate actions done alone or for oneself. For instance, "by myself", "for yourself", "with himself", or "to herself." These prepositional phrases emphasize the individual's independence and self-sufficiency. Examples include "He traveled by himself" or "She bought the gift for herself."
Reflexive Pronouns and Possessive Pronouns:
Reflexive pronouns are related to possessive pronouns because they both express ownership or possession. Possessive pronouns show ownership, such as "my", "your", or "their." When combined with "self" (myself, yourself, themselves, etc.), they create reflexive pronouns. For example, "This is my book" (possessive pronoun), and "I read the book myself" (reflexive pronoun).
Reflexive Pronouns with Reflexive Verbs:
Reflexive pronouns are commonly used with reflexive verbs to indicate actions performed on or for oneself. These verbs require a reflexive pronoun to complete their meaning. For example, "to enjoy oneself", "to relax oneself", or "to challenge oneself."
Reflexive Pronouns and Direct/Indirect Objects:
Reflexive pronouns are particularly helpful in sentences with both direct and indirect objects. They clarify that the action is done to oneself and not to someone or something else. For instance, "She bought herself a new phone" (direct object) or "He made himself a sandwich" (indirect object).
Impact on Sentence Structure and Meaning:
Using or omitting reflexive pronouns can significantly impact the sentence structure and meaning. Without reflexive pronouns, sentences might become ambiguous or less specific about who is performing the action or receiving it.
Reflexive Pronouns in Reflexive Actions:
Reflexive pronouns are commonly used with verbs that describe actions one does to oneself, like "to wash oneself" or "to dress oneself." These actions indicate self-care or self-maintenance.
Self-Reliance and Independence:
Reflexive pronouns are often used to express self-reliance and independence. They emphasize that the subject can take care of themselves and handle tasks alone. For example, "I can do it myself" or "She handled the situation herself."
Reflexive Possessive Adjectives:
Reflexive pronouns can also be used in reflexive possessive adjectives, such as "my own" or "their own." These show a strong sense of ownership or identification with something.
Connection to Reciprocal Pronouns:
It's important not to confuse reflexive pronouns with reciprocal pronouns, like "each other" or "one another." Reciprocal pronouns indicate mutual actions between two or more subjects. For example, "They hugged each other."
Reflexive pronouns can be used to express personal responsibility, as in "I did it myself" or "She fixed the issue herself." This shows that the subject takes accountability for their actions.
Reflexive Pronouns and Reflexive Adjectives:
Reflexive pronouns should not be confused with reflexive adjectives, which modify nouns to indicate ownership or reference. For example, "the very same book" or "the very one I wanted."
Reflexive Idiomatic Expressions:
Reflexive pronouns are often used in idiomatic expressions, like "to keep to oneself" or "to pride oneself." These expressions have specific meanings that may not be entirely apparent from the individual words.
Emphasizing the Subject:
Reflexive pronouns are used to emphasize the subject's involvement in the action, making the sentence more powerful and direct. For example, "The President himself attended the event."
Self-Care and Self-Awareness:
Reflexive pronouns are used in expressions of self-care and self-awareness, such as "Take care of yourself" or "Know yourself better." These statements encourage personal well-being and introspection.
Reflexive pronouns are essential in reflexive verb constructions, such as "The cat groomed itself" or "He prides himself on his work." These verbs require a reflexive pronoun to convey the correct meaning.
Actions Done for Oneself:
Reflexive pronouns are used to express actions done for oneself, like "I bought myself a gift" or "She prepared herself for the exam." These actions show self-indulgence or self-treatments.
Idiomatic Expressions and Colloquial Language:
Reflexive pronouns are frequently used in idiomatic expressions and colloquial language to convey a wide range of meanings and emotions. For example, "Get yourself together" or "I can handle it myself."
Connection to Possessive Determiners:
Reflexive pronouns should not be confused with possessive determiners, as in "My car" and "Myself." Possessive determiners indicate ownership or belonging.
Self-Restraint and Self-Discipline:
Reflexive pronouns are used to show self-restraint and self-discipline, as in "He controlled himself during the argument." This reflects the ability to manage one's emotions and behavior.
Reflexive Actions for Personal Development:
Reflexive pronouns are used when referring to actions taken for personal growth and development, like "She challenged herself to learn a new skill." These actions promote self-improvement and advancement.
Self-Discovery and Self-Reflection:
Reflexive pronouns are used in expressions of self-discovery and self-reflection, such as "They found themselves on a spiritual journey." These expressions indicate a profound process of self-awareness.
Reflexive pronouns are used to express self-reliance, like "You should believe in yourself." This encourages individuals to trust their abilities and judgment.
Using Reflexive Pronouns with Certain Verbs to Indicate Intention:
Reflexive pronouns can be used with certain verbs to indicate intention or purpose. For example, "He meant it for himself" suggests that he had a specific intention or purpose in mind for something.
Reflexive Pronouns in Reflexive Constructions with "by":
Reflexive pronouns can be used in reflexive constructions with the preposition "by" to indicate that the subject is performing an action on themselves. For instance, "The task was accomplished by themselves", meaning they accomplished the task independently.
Reflexive Pronouns in Reflexive Appositives:
Reflexive pronouns can also appear in reflexive appositives, which provide additional information about the subject. For example, "My friend, herself, is a talented artist", emphasizes that the friend is the talented artist.
Relation to Intensive Pronouns:
Reflexive pronouns and intensive pronouns share the same forms, but their functions are different. Intensive pronouns are used to add emphasis to a noun or pronoun in the sentence, while reflexive pronouns reflect the action back to the subject. Examples of intensive pronouns are "I myself" or "You yourself."
Using Reflexive Pronouns in Instructions and Recipes:
Reflexive pronouns are commonly used in instructions and recipes to address the reader directly and encourage them to take action. For instance, "Mix it yourself" or "Enjoy the experience for yourself."
Reflexive Pronouns and Personal Accountability:
Reflexive pronouns are instrumental in expressing personal accountability for one's actions. For example, "They blamed themselves for the mistake", indicating that they take responsibility for the error.
Reflexive Pronouns in Reflexive Actions for Personal Growth and Development:
Reflexive pronouns are frequently used when referring to actions taken for personal growth and development. For example, "She challenged herself to overcome her fears", indicating her determination to grow and improve.
In conclusion, reflexive pronouns serve multiple functions in English grammar, playing a vital role in expressing self-action, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-awareness. They impact sentence structure and meaning by clarifying the subject's involvement in the action and can be used in various contexts, including reflexive verbs, idiomatic expressions, and instructions. By understanding the proper usage of reflexive pronouns, English speakers can express ideas related to self-care, self-discipline, and personal development with precision and clarity.