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Current time:0:00Total duration:5:10

Video transcript

hello grammarians let's talk about reflexive pronouns and just as a word of warning this means I'm going to be talking about myself a lot what I mean is that in English we have this distinction between the personal pronoun so for example me and it's reflexive pronoun which is myself and we use these pronouns in very specific cases so I'm going to show you what all of those reflexive pronouns look like contrasted with their personal pronoun forms and then we're going to talk about how we use them so so the first person we say personal pronoun is me the reflexive pronoun is myself the first person plural personal pronoun is us and the reflexive form of that is ourselves then in the second person both plural and singular personal pronoun is you and then in the reflexive it can either be yourself when you're addressing one person or yourselves when the you you are talking to consists of more than one person the singular third-person pronouns look like this it her and him and the reflective versions are as follows itself herself and himself finally the personal pronoun them becomes the reflexive pronoun themselves now all of these are what we would call object pronouns they can all be the object of a verb so they're never the Dewar's they're always the dewey's with the exception of you or it none of these pronouns can be the subject of a sentence in standard American English it is not grammatical to say me eat a cookie for example it's part of why Cookie Monster sounds so funny so then the question becomes when do you use these so place for these object pronouns to go is in the back end of a sentence what we call the predicate where the object of the verb lives so for example she poked me she is the subject of the sentence and me is the object is the object of the verb poked it is the Dewey it is the thing that something is done to and not the doer so that's when you use object pronouns generally but when do you use reflexive pronouns you use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same thing let me show you an example sentence Janell made herself breakfast so in this sentence herself and Janelle the same person as opposed to the other possibility which is Janelle making breakfast for someone else Janelle made us breakfast and in this case this this usage is not reflective she's not doing a thing for herself or to herself she's doing she's making breakfast for other people and so you just used the regular personal object pronoun there you can only use a reflexive pronoun when the subject and the object of the sentence are the same thing Janelle is the same thing as herself Janelle is not the same thing as us so we would say us here and not ourselves how about this one Roderick saw me in the mirror now I am NOT named Roderick I'm not the same thing as Roderick and if I were writing a sentence about myself I would say I saw myself in the mirror Roderick and I and me are not the same person I and myself are the same person the same person as Roderick is Roderick so if we were to say Roderick saw Roderick in the mirror we would render that as Roderick saw himself because the subject here and the object here are the same thing so remember you use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same thing it's really easy to get tripped up this way especially if there's a compound object in the sentence for example you can talk to Vidya or myself I see this all the time and in standard American English this is not correct because you is not the same thing as me and it's easy to get confused because you're talking about to two people here in this in this object and that's a little bubbling it kind of throws you off and so there's a test you can do if you're unsure of whether or not it should be video or myself or Vidya or me which is what I would say how do you tell take the other person out of the object just for a little bit so would you say you can talk to myself would you say you can talk to me well since we know that U is not the same thing as myself and you can only use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object are the same thing the answer is me so then we bring Vidya back we bring the other part of the object back and it becomes you can talk to Vidya or me so when in doubt sub it out take the other part of the object and just pretend it's not there and just think about how the subject and the object connect chances are you won't actually end up using a reflexive pronoun perform that little check and you'll never go wrong you can learn anything David out