ICAO Structure: Pronouns – Reflexive

The aim of this short article is to focus on reflexive pronouns. Firstly, I’d like to remind how they are formed; moreover, I’d like to present in which cases they are used.

What Are Reflexive Pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns can be distinguished with the suffixes -self for singular, whereas plural forms take -selves. The detailed description is shown in two boxes presented below.

Reflexive pronouns for singular forms are formed in the following ways:

Singular reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns for plural forms are formed in the following ways:

Plural reflexive pronouns

When We Use Reflexive Pronouns?

We use reflexive pronouns when:

  • There is the same subject and object in a sentence:
    – “Annie (she) looked at herself in the mirror.” (Annie is the subject and object; however “Annie looked at her in the mirror.” would imply Annie looked at another female.)
    – “Are James and Nicole enjoying themselves?
    – “I must introduce myself.”


  • If we want to put an emphasis on the subject of a clause:
    – “He came to visit her at the hospital himself.” (The emphasis made by this reflexive pronoun shows the importance of a fact he turned up.)
    – “I myself couldn’t believe I had made such a fundamental mistake.”


  • They are used as a synonym for a phrase “on my own” – “Have you made this bracelet by yourself? It’s delightful.” In this context, there is always “by” in the first place followed by a reflexive pronoun – by themselves, by myself, etc.


Should you need some extra activities concerning the subject presented above, please check a British Council website with the interactive exercises presented at the bottom of their website – click here to be transferred and check your grammar by yourself 😉

If you find this blog post useful, please check my other articles which will help you understand other grammar rules:

Reflexive Pronouns English