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Difference between ourselves, yourselves and themselves

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Ourselves, yourselves and themselves are known as reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object refer to same person or thing. My son likes to play himself without my help. Reflexive pronouns include myself, yourself, yourselves, themselves, ourselves, himself, herself, and itself. Whereas, subject pronouns include I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they. When we use you in the singular, we use pronoun yourself and when we use your as plural we use reflexive pronoun as a yourselves in the sentence.

We use reflexive pronouns in following categories:


1. As mentioned earlier, when the subject and object refer to same person or thing.

Examples:

- They injured themselves while playing cricket.
- I enjoyed myself at the awards function.
- She unintentionally cut herself while chopping the vegetables.
- He bought an iPhone for himself.

2. When you want to emphasize.

Examples:

- I did it all by myself.
- She prepared the meal herself
.

We don’t use reflexive pronoun after a preposition of place. Let us now know the difference between ourselves, yourselves and themselves.

Ourselves

When the subject and the object are same with the subject including “we” and referring the same group of people in object then we use ourselves in the sentence.

Examples:

-We bought it ourselves.
-We ourselves didn't have any plan.

Yourselves

We need to be cautious while using yourselves. You used in the singular form becomes yourself and when used for more than one person as a subject becomes yourselves.


Examples:

- Will you manage all by yourself?
- Did you guys help her all by yourselves?

Themselves

When the subject is they,then we use themselves in the sentence as an object.

Examples:

- They asked themselves what did they do wrong.
- They injured themselves while boarding a crowded train.

Take the following quiz and check how well you are aware of the concept.

Fill with the appropriate answers (yourselves, themselves, and ourselves)

1. The children can decorate the Christmas tree by ______.
2. Don’t help us, Mom! I and Jenny can paint the car all by ______.
3. Hi, Maalin! Hi, Delna! Please, come in and make ______ at home.
4. After the accident, we blamed _____ at first until we discovered that the other driver was drunk at the time.
5. We really enjoyed ______ at the party last night. We thought it was going to be boring.

Answers:  1. themselves 2. ourselves 3. yourselves 4. ourselves 5. ourselves

Reflexive pronouns can help you make your communication better. A spoken English course will help you improve your communication skills.

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-By Chander Madan

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