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Free English Grammar (Basic » Intermediate)


Unit 4 - Reflexive pronouns, the reciprocal pronoun "each other" and object pronouns


Reflexive pronouns are formed by adding self (singular) or selves (plural) to my, your, our (possesive adjectives) or him, her, it, them (object pronouns). Let us have a look at them now:










Reflexive pronouns are used to refer back to the subject:

She made this skirt herself. (That is, nobody helped her.)

I cut myself when I was peeling a clove of garlic.


They can also mean "in person" or "personally", or, in other words, they act as intensifiers:

The mayor himself spoke for the abolition of the death penalty.

We saw the president himself at the reception. (Please note that himself refers to the president, not to the subject.)

The queen herself was among the demostrators.


If we say that John writes to Mary and that Mary writes to John, we are talking about a reciprocal action. This sort of actions are expressed by each other or one another: They write to each other / one another once a month.


When the action expressed by the subject falls on other people or things, we employ personal object pronouns: He loves her. However, she may not love him; but if we say that he and Mary love each other, they are both in love. John loves himself means that John loves John, that is to say, himself refers back to John.



  Fill in the gaps as appropriate.

  1.  Ingrid, Paul! Please behave __________.

  2.  The pop star __________ attended the wedding ceremony, as she had promised.

  3.  I sent __________ a letter, but she hasn't replied to __________ yet.

  4.  We send letters to __________ regularly. I get on very well with __________. She's, in fact, my best friend.

  5.  We looked at __________ in amazement, but we didn't say anything.

  6.  Make __________ at home, John. I'll be right back.

  7.  We've known __________ since we were kids. We even were at school together.

  8.  I made a fool of __________ by saying that stupid thing.

  9.  He hurt __________ when he was playing soccer.

 10.  When you see your sister, give my regards to __________, please.

Written by Miquel Molina i Diez
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