Singular Reflexive Pronoun (9 Important Facts)


Nine important facts related to singular reflexive pronoun in this article will make your learning easy and effective.

Reflexive pronouns refer to both singular and plural subjects but we can refer as singular reflexive pronouns to those pronouns which address only single living phenomena or non-living object.

Can reflexive pronouns be singular?

Yes, reflexive pronouns can be determined as singular reflexive pronoun but on the basis of the noun or noun equivalent of that respective sentence.

Let’s look at the below listed situations where we can use reflexive pronouns in singular mode.

Situation 1 – If the noun or noun equivalent of the sentence is in ‘1st Person Singular Number’.

Situation 2 – If the noun or noun equivalent of the sentence is in ‘2nd Person Singular Number’.

Situation 3 – If the noun or noun equivalent of the sentence is in ‘3rd person Singular Number’, male.

Situation 4 – If the noun or noun equivalent of the sentence is in ‘3rd person Singular Number’, female.

Situation 5 – If the noun or noun equivalent of the sentence is in ‘3rd person Singular Number’, non-living object.

Example – I am not interested to present myself as a commodity to the family of the groom.

Explanation – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘myself’ is addressing the 1st person singular number ‘I’. The reflexive pronoun ‘myself’ is in singular number because the speaker of the sentence is in singular number.

When reflexive pronouns are singular?

Reflexive pronouns are singular in those sentences where the subject of the sentence is also a singular living person or non-living object. In other words, we can also say that reflexive pronouns are singular when both the subject and object of the sentence is in singular mode.

Example – You must encourage yourself to come over from this hard situation with flying colours.

Explanation – Here, both the subject ‘You’ and object ‘yourself’ is in 2nd person, singular number. Thus, we can say ‘yourself’ is a singular reflexive pronoun as purpose of pronoun is to replace the noun or refer the noun which is also in ‘Singular Mode’ in this sentence.

Which reflexive pronouns are singular?

There are five reflexive pronouns which can be regarded as ‘Singular Reflexive Pronouns’. They are

  1. Myself
  2. Yourself
  3. Himself
  4. Herself
  5. Itself

There is another modern addition to the list of singular reflexive pronouns, which is ‘Oneself’. In modern days, the term ‘oneself’ is also in use as ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’.

Example – The monkey, Judy was abandoned by its caregiver but it pulled itself back to the life of jungle.

Explanation – Here, the subject ‘Judy’ is acting an action to the object which is none other than Judy itself. Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘itself’ is a singular number because the subject ‘Judy’ is in 3rd person singular number.

Why are reflexive pronouns singular?

Purpose of reflexive verb is to reverse back the action to the subject of the sentence. Thus, if the reflexive verb is addressing a singular subject then the reflexive pronoun must also be in singular mode. Reflexive pronoun, like; myself always address the speaker I’ who is always a 1st person singular number.

Example – I have done a great job by not degrading myself in front of my boss.

Explanation – Here, the reflecting verb is ‘degrading’. This action ‘degrading’ has been done by the 1st person singular number ‘I’. Thus, another receiver of the action ‘myself’ is a reflexive pronoun and in singular mode.

Which reflexive pronouns are always singular?

There are five reflexive pronouns which always works as singular reflexive pronouns.

Let’s look at below listed table to have a glance of ‘Singular Reflexive Pronouns’.

‘Person’ in Singular Mode‘Reflexive Pronoun’ in Singular Mode
1st Person ‘I’Myself
2nd Person ‘You’Yourself
3rd Person ‘He’Himself
3rd Person ‘She’Herself
3rd Person ‘It’Itself
List of Singular Reflexive Pronoun

Example – My pet cat always sit beside my baby as it is representing itself as guardian of my child.

Explanation – Here, we can see one reference of singular reflexive pronoun, ‘itself’.

Singular reflexive pronoun examples –

Example 1 – I must make myself ready for the coming event.

Example 2 – You can encourage yourself more than anyone else.

Example 3 – I bought a valentine gift to pamper myself.

Example 4 – Pijush must recommend himself for the promotion instead of anyone else of his sales team.

Example 5 – Reena must control herself from speaking unnecessary thing in family gathering.

Example 6 – The puppy can’t feed itself without help of its mother.

Example 7 – You must carry yourself to the parlour for some grooming.

Example 8 – No matters who supports you and who don’t but you must support yourself for your new business.

Example 9 – I am not going to change myself to pamper others.

Example 10Reena is going to pierce herself on her nose to fulfill her dream to wear a nose ring.

Explanation 1 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘myself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Explanation 2 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘yourself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 2nd person singular number ‘You’.

Explanation 3 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘myself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Explanation 4 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘himself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 3rd person singular number ‘Pijush’.

Explanation 5 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘herself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 3rd person singular number ‘Reena’.

Explanation 6 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘itself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 3rd person singular number , an animal.

Explanation 7 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘yourself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 2nd person singular number ‘You’.

Explanation 8 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘yourself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 2nd person singular number ‘You’.

Explanation 9 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘myself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Explanation 10 – Here, the reflexive pronoun ‘herself’ can be called ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’ as it refers the 3rd person singular number ‘Reena’.

Which reflexive pronouns can be either singular or plural?

The pronoun ‘they’ can be used in both ‘singular’ mode and ‘plural’ mode. Usually, the pronoun ‘they’ and the reflexive pronoun ‘themselves’ is all about plural reflexive pronoun but we can use the reflexive pronoun ‘themselves’ in singular mode when we don’t want to specify the gender of the subject or we want to speak for all.

singular reflexive pronoun
Five Examples of Sentences framed with ‘Singular Reflexive Pronoun’

Example – Each and every student of this college must take care of themselves regarding maintenance of decorum.

Explanation – In the above sentence, the reflexive pronoun ‘themselves’ is in use without any particular gender specification.

How to identify reflexive pronouns?

We can easily identify reflexive pronouns with the help of some clues.

Clue 1 – If the subject of the sentence is similar with the object of the sentence then the object must be a reflexive pronoun.

Clue 2 – If the subject of the sentence is reversing the action to herself or himself then also the object must be a reflexive pronoun.

Clue 3 – When the subject of the sentence is center of attraction then also we use reflexive pronoun to emphasize the role of the subject in that particular sentence.

Clue 4 – If the action verb of the sentence is a ‘reflexive verb’ then also we can identify the object as ‘reflexive pronouns’.

Example – Rana doesn’t want to frame himself as a selfish businessman but as a hardworker who strive for success.

Explanation – Here, we can see that the subject ‘Rana’ is similar with object ‘himself’. Again the action verb of the sentence ‘frame’ is a ‘reflexive verb’ as it is reflecting the action back to the subject ‘Rana’. Thus, we can easily identify the pronoun ‘himself’ as a reflexive pronoun.

Conclusion –

We must consider ‘oneself’ as a reflexive singular pronoun. Though the term ‘oneself’ is not included in authentic grammar as reflexive pronoun but in modern grammar, ‘oneself’ is also a part of 3rd person singular reflexive pronoun.

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