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Pronouns: Writing Skills Success Study Guide (page 3)

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Improper Reflexive Pronouns

A reflexive pronoun is one that includes the word self or selves: myself, yourself, himself, herself, ourselves, themselves. The following section explains ways in which reflexive pronouns are sometimes misused.

  • The possessive pronouns his and their cannot be made reflexive.
      Wrong:
        They decided to do the remodeling theirselves.
        Mark wanted to arrange the meeting hisself.
      Correct:
        They decided to do the remodeling themselves.
        Mark wanted to arrange the meeting himself.
  • Avoid using a reflexive pronoun when a personal pronoun works in the sentence.
      Wrong:
        Three associates and myself chose the architect for the building.
        The preliminary results of the poll were revealed only to ourselves.
      Correct:
        Three associates and I chose the architect for the building.
        The preliminary results of the poll were revealed only to us.

Tip

Identify the pronoun mistake or two that you make most often. In your conversation, make a conscious effort to use the pronouns correctly at least three times.

Exercises for this concept can be found at Pronouns: Writing Skills Success Practice Exercises.

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