The main difference between reflexive and emphasising pronouns is that reflexive pronouns reflect the action back on the subject while emphasizing pronouns emphasise the noun or pronoun being referred to.
The difference between reflexive pronouns and emphasising pronouns mainly depends on their function. The formulations of these pronouns are the same: you only have to add “-self” or “-selves” to the personal pronouns to create reflexive and emphasising pronouns.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Reflexive Pronouns
– Definition, Function, Examples
2. What are Emphasising Pronouns
– Definition, Function, Examples
3. Difference Between Reflexive and Emphasising Pronoun
– Comparison of Key Differences
Reflexive Pronoun, Emphasising Pronoun
What are Reflexive Pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are a type of pronoun used to refer back to the subject of a sentence or clause. You can form them by adding “-self” or “-selves” to the personal pronouns. Furthermore, in English, the reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.
Reflexive pronouns can serve as both the subject and indirect object in a sentence. We can use reflexive pronouns in the following ways:
To show an action performed by the subject is reflected back on them.
For example, The woman washed herself. (action reflects back on subject “woman”)
To show that the subject or object of the verb is the same person or thing.
For example, Roarke bought himself a treat.
Here, Roarke is both the subject and object of the verb.
We use reflexive verbs after verbs with prepositions to clarify which person or thing we are talking about. If it is already clear, reflexive pronouns are not necessary. Moreover, reflexive pronouns are not interchangeable with personal pronouns. It is important to use the correct reflexive pronoun in a sentence to avoid confusion and maintain correct grammar.
What are Emphasising Pronouns
Emphasising pronouns are words that we can use to stress or emphasize a particular noun or pronoun in a sentence. Examples of emphasizing pronouns include myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves. Moreover, these pronouns are used to add emphasis to the person or thing being referred to and are often used to stress personal involvement or agency in an action. For example: “I myself baked the cake” or “She did the work herself.”
You can identify an emphasising pronoun by removing the pronoun from the sentence. If the sentence still makes sense without the pronoun, then it’s an emphasising pronoun. For example,
You need to fix this yourself. (emphasizing pronoun “yourself” emphasises subject “you”).
Sentence without emphasizing pronoun: You need to fix this. (still makes complete sense).
Difference Between Reflexive and Emphasising Pronoun
Reflexive pronouns are a type of pronoun that refers back to the subject of a sentence or clause, while emphasising pronouns are words that stress or emphasise a particular noun or pronoun in a sentence.
Reflexive pronouns show that the subject of the sentence is performing an action that affects or is reflected back on themselves. Emphasising pronouns, on the other hand, add emphasis or stress to a particular noun or pronoun in a sentence.
Subject and Object
In reflexive pronouns, subject and object can refer to the same person/thing, whereas in emphasising pronouns, subject and object do not refer to the same thing/person.
Use as Object
Reflexive pronouns can function as an object of a sentence while emphasising pronouns do not serve as the object.
Some examples of reflexive pronouns include Eve burnt herself while cooking, The athlete stretched himself before the race, and I made myself an omelet. Examples of emphasising pronouns include I did it myself, The president himself will give the speech, and I myself saw the accident.
The main difference between reflexive and emphasising pronouns is that reflexive pronouns reflect the action back on the subject while emphasizing pronouns emphasize the noun or pronoun being referred to.
1. “Reflexive Pronouns.” Learn English – British Council.
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