Exercise 1

Choose the correct reflexive and reciprocal pronouns to complete the sentences below.

1I blame for what happened.

2She brought up her children .

3It's been a long time since we talked to .

4You need to shave before the interview.

5We are very proud of .

6The Vikings organised in clans and invaded many regions.

7She alsays takes the dog with when she went out.

8This is the most stupid way of hurting I've ever heard of.

9Put the exam sheet in front of and start writing.

10I have to dress quickly or I'll be late.


 

 

Reflexive pronouns

 
The reflexive  pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves. There is also a reflexive generic pronoun: oneself.
 

Same subject and object

 
The reflexive pronouns are normally used when the subject and the object are the same person.

  • She cut herself chopping the onions. 
  • We really enjoyed ourselves at the party. 
  • Talking to oneself is not necessarily a sign of madness. 

 

After preposition

 
We can use reflexive pronouns after most prepositions if they refer back to the subject.

  • He should be really proud of himself
  • With the 3-D printer and this scanner you can print a small version of yourself

 

NOT after prepositions of place

 
We don’t use reflexive pronouns after prepositions of place; we use object pronouns instead.

  • She told her husband to sit in the chair in front of her. (NOT of herself)
  • They put their luggage behind them

And we don’t use reflexive pronouns after with when it means ‘accompanied by’.

  • He took his son with him.

 

To emphasise who did the action

 
We also use a reflexive pronoun to emphasise that the subject does the action, and nobody else. In this sense, we can use the reflexive at the end of the sentence or after the subject.

  • I will talk to Anna myself
  • I think you should do it yourself, instead of having it done. 
  • Paul himself designed the everything. 

 

by oneself

 
We can say by myself, by yourself, etc. to mean ‘alone, without anybody else’, or also to mean ‘without anybody’s help’.

  • My son doesn’t like to be by himself, he always wants us around. 
  • She raised her four children by herself

We can also say on my own, on your own, etc.

  • I was on my own, all morning.
  • She did it on her own.

 

Verbs with NO reflexive pronoun

 
Students of English often make mistakes when they use some verbs which are are used reflexively in their language but not in English. Some of these verbs are dress, shave, wash, relax, hurry, or open.

  • The first thing I do is wash, shave, and dress. (NOT wash/shave/dress myself)
  • When I arrive home I only want to relax on the sofa. 
  • Please, hurry or we’ll be late. 
  • The door opened and everybody got in. 

 

Reciprocal pronouns

 
We use each other or one another when person A does something to person B, and person B does something to person A.

  • When the twins found each other, they had been living apart for more than 10 years. 
  • You should try to understand one another

 
We also can use the possessive forms each other’s and one another’s.

  • The lovers were found in each other’s arms. 
  • The couple enjoyed one another’s company so much that they soon decided to move in together. 

 


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