Talk:Reflexive pronoun

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French examples[edit]

How can two things be "exactly similar in meaning but not in use"? At the very least I'd like to see some elaboration of that claim. (talk) 05:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Reflexive pronouns suck[edit]

Reflexive pronouns suck. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:01, 2 November 2005

Don't worry, most English speakers can't get them right anyway. pet hate
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:32, 14 December 2005

3rd person clarification[edit]

I think your edits made the 3rd person issue more clear. Good done. 惑乱 分からん 17:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Reflexive a case?[edit]

Is "reflexive" a grammatical case? If it is, then shouldn't this article be moved to reflexive case? If not, can someone explain to me what is different about it that it's not considered a case the way that "nominative", "accusative", "dative", "objective", "genitive", etc., are? —Lowellian (reply) 03:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Reflexives are not at all a case. A case can be applied to any noun (in general). For example, in Latin, you have puer, pueris, puero, puerum, puero, (boy). Those are all cases. Any one of them can apply to any noun in the language. But there is no "reflexive case". There's no ending to add to an ordinary noun to make it reflexive. You can refer to a noun with a reflexive pronoun, but you can also refer to an noun with a non-reflexive pronoun. For example, ego (I) is a pronoun, referring to the speaker. He is another pronoun, referring to a male (or something masculine) already mentioned. She is another pronoun, referring to something feminine. "Se" is yet another pronoun, referring to the subject, i.e. a reflexive pronoun. The different pronouns refer to different things. The different pronouns can all be declined in all the cases of Latin: ego, mei, mihi, me, me. Ea, eius, ei, eam, ea. * (no nominative), sui, sibi, se, se. (The pronoun se doesn't have a nominative form, because it can't be a subject, because it always refers to the subject, but never is the subject itself.) Thus, case and reflexive pronouns are different things.

long-range vs short-range reflexives[edit]

Can someone put in something about long-range vs. short-range reflexives? I.e. whether a reflexive pronoun in a subordinate clause refers to the subject of the subordinate clause or the main clause. I think I read something about how in Icelandic (I think) reflexives are long-range, unlike in most other languages.

non-standard english usage[edit]

"Please, forward the information to myself"

It's hard to see how this is a reflexive pronoun. It looks like an emphatic pronoun which happens to have the same form as the reflexive in English. For example: Sally is going herself to the party.
Indeed, I'll change the article to note that these might not be true reflexives. Cadr 00:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Um...isn't this just wrong? The speaker means to say, "Please forward the information to ME." Nobody else can do something to "myself". Only I can do something to myself. Similarly, there's no way I can do something to "yourself". -- 21:20, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I couldn't agree more. It drives me crazy hearing people saying this kind of thing and it's becoming more and more common. I think it is because (especially in a business context) people somehow think that to use the pronoun, "me", sounds somehow too informal or "common" (heaven forbid!). So they (wrongly) imagine that if they use "myself" they will sound "posher"! PointOfPresence (talk) 11:05, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

No, it's quite common for reflexive pronouns to be used non-reflexively even in standard English. For example, "John was excited. Photos of himself were on display at the exhibition." In cases like "please forward the information to myself", this seems to be an emphatic usage (as found in SE in constructions like "As for MYSELF, I like chocolate"). The innovation here seems to be the use of emphatic reflexives in co-argument positions, which isn't possible in SE. Cadr 09:09, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I recall a prescriptive English grammar guide dated around 1908 that specifically proscribed replacement of me with myself (I'll try to find a link to it ... it was on So, it's reasonable to say two things: that such usage has been going on for at least a hundred years, and that the usage was fairly widespread at the time. Such "reflexive-pronouns" seem (to me, at least) to occur most frequently in conjoined subjects/objects, as in John and myself were invited to the party. My intuition is that these might be reduced forms of Pronoun+appositive, e.g., John and I, myself ... reduced to John and myself .... Second-person seems more resistant to this reduction, e.g., ?John and yourself should go to the party, while third-person seems to disallow it altogether, e.g., *John and herself .... I've also seen myself used alone as a subject, however, in these cases, it seems that the reflexive has been re-analyzed to its literal morphological form, i.e., as a possessive construction akin to my wife (cf my stupid self left the stove on all day). Especially telling is that the verb, in these cases, always shows third-person agreement, e.g., myself is not happy with this situation or my stupid self is going to be fired from my job. I've also seen cases where subject you yourself causes third-person agreement on the verb, while you alone causes the expected second-person agreement, e.g., if you yourself is abusing alcohol ... you are not being a good role model for your teenagers (something like that). So, ... replacing me with myself in coordination or in object-position doesn't sound strange to me, if the reflexive is actually a reduced pronoun+appositive, but these last cases, the ones with the third-person verb agreement, are mysterious. joo-yoon 18:32, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
While coordination seems fine to me, I read the uses of "myself" in object position as ungrammatical. "Photos of himself were on display" sounds particularly egregious. I'm willing to bet the use of reflexive pronouns as object pronouns is at least controversial—in fact, I would have called it flat-out wrong before reading these comments. (talk) 05:43, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The usage is much older than 100 years. There are a number of examples from the 1611 KJV:
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh" (Rom 9:3)
"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." (Ex 19:4)
"And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him" (Luke 6:3) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


I might be wrong about this but isn't this sentence describing what is NOT a logophor?
"reflexives with discourse antecedents are often referred to as "logophors"."
Talam 06:07, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Remove Esperanto Examples?[edit]

Since Esperanto is an artificial language specifically designed with the goal of avoiding many of the "problems" of natural language, I don't think examples from it should be included here. joo-yoon 18:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd prefer Esperanto to Novial, though, since Esperanto at least is a major conlang. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * (talk) 22:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

European Portuguese examples?[edit]

The section on Portuguese was clearly writen by a Brasilian, without any regard for (or knowledge of?) how the language is used on this side of the Atlantic. Even the verb used in the examples - machucar - although very common in Brasil, is almost never used albeit undestood in Portugal. Back to the point, reflexives have a very different construction in European Portuguese, which usually places the pronoun after the verb, separated by a hifen. Thus: vestir-me (I get myself dressed, put on clothes on myself), lavou-se (washed himself, herself), levantámo-nos (we stood up ourselves) etc. Someone should point out this difference and put some examples on the main page, and btw also trim down the brasilian examples to proper balance with the other languages; it is obviously too long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 26 April 2011 (UTC)


I notice that example German sentences are not included in this article... do you mind if I write some sample German sentences (using reflexive pronouns) of course :) Anbellofe (talk) 15:30, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't seem completely necessary, we already have Swedish representing the Germanic branch. It seems slightly excessive to me, but I wouldn't remove it if you added it. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * (talk) 15:21, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

major surgery[edit]

I've just come to this page because it was listed at Category:Uncategorized_from_March_2008 which seemed surprising for a standard sort of topic. Looking at the page, it seems that an anon editor removed most of it in a series of edits on 24 feb 2008, including all the bottom matter such as the category. The interwiki links had been replaced since then, and Icelandic and Latin sections added. I've replaced what was deleted, and put the languages into an A-Z sequence, and done a couple of little tweaks to help. Also simplified the hatnote, as Myself (band) has been deleted. Hope I haven't trodden on any toes! PamD (talk) 16:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)


"Moi-même" etc are here claimed to be the reflexive pronouns of French, but se is also a refelxive pronoun and even the only true reflexive pronoun: "Il se lave" - "He washes himself". I think moi-même etc are rather intesifying pronouns: "Ja l'ai fait moi-même" - "I did it myself". N'est-ce pas? (talk) 17:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Direct vs. Indirect Objects [?][edit]

I wonder if the reflexive applies to indirect objects as well as direct ones.

eg. "I want to learn about the world around me." or "I want to learn about the world around myself".

Ought the Hanna Montana song "we got the party with us." to be "we got the party with ourselves?" Pine (talk) 22:23, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The problem is not direct vs. indirect objects, my friend. The problem is that you weren't taught how to correctly diagram a sentence.

Regardless of whether an object is direct "He dedicated himself to helping her." or indirect: "He assigned the project to himself.", if said object is also the subject of the sentence then the reflexive pronoun is always used.

To answer your question, "I want to learn about the world around me." is correct because "around me" is not an object at all, but rather a prepositional phrase acting as an adjective modifying the only object in the sentence, "world." For the same reason, "We got the party with us" is also correct.

Jeez, and they wonder why SAT scores are in the tank! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Wow! I can't believe how badly I messed up my grammar. Thanks for the heads-up, I'm definitely doing to learn how to diagram a sentence.

As for your "SAT" comment, I'll just reference another Hanna Montana song: Nobody's Perfect. Pine (talk) 19:46, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


"In some languages, this distinction includes genitive forms: see, for instance, the Swedish examples below." I searched with Ctrl+F, and found nothing Swedish =/. Should there be any? Sweed Raver (talk) 19:15, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Some proud Dane translated the Swedish examples to Danish for no particular reason some time ago. Linguistically, the sentences are nearly identical, so I can't see any other reason for the edit than national pride. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 16:50, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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