Understanding Compound Personal Pronouns

What do you mean by compound personal pronouns? Pronouns may seem tiny, but they’re super important for smooth sentences. Today, we’re zeroing in on a special group: compound personal pronouns. Let’s unravel the mystery together.

Compound personal pronouns serve multiple roles and add clarity and emphasis to our sentences. We make compound personal pronouns by adding the word self to certain personal pronoun. They include:

First Person Second Person Third Person
♦ myself (singular)
♦ ourselves (plural)
♦ yourself (singular)
♦ yourselves (plural)
♦ himself (singular)
♦ herself (singular)
♦ itself (singular)
♦ themselves (plural)

 

Types of Compound Personal Pronouns?

Compound personal pronouns can be reflexive or emphatic without changing the sentence’s core meaning.

Reflexive

If the subject and object are the same, use a reflexive pronoun because it’s like the subject is acting on itself. These pronouns are called reflexive because they ‘refer back’ to the subject and repeat its meaning in an object’s construction.

♦ She taught herself to play the piano.
♦ She was talking to herself.

In this example, ‘herself’ reflects the action back to ‘she’. People mess up by using them when they don’t have to. So if taking out the pronoun makes your sentence wrong, it’s probably reflexive.

Emphatic

Want to stress an action or show it’s done without help? Emphatic pronouns come into play.

♦ I made this cake myself!
♦ They did the work themselves.

Here, ‘myself’ doesn’t just hang around for decoration; it emphasizes who made the cake. They’re called intensive pronouns in this situation.

But basically, we can remove emphatic pronouns from a sentence and it won’t mess with the grammar, it just makes it less intense?

Notes on Using Compound Personal Pronouns

When we use compound personal pronouns, there are a few things to consider.

Adding ‘Own’

The compound pronouns don’t have possessive forms, but sometimes people add the word ‘own’ to the self-pronouns to really emphasize it.

♦ my own self
♦ your own self
♦ his own self
♦ our own selves
♦ their own selves

♦ I have my own book.
♦ Bring your own work.
♦ She has a book of his own.

‘Self’ is like a noun that shows possession and also acts like a pronoun. Occasionally, others add in extra adjectives between the possessive and self, like ‘my own darn self’ or ‘his lousy self’.

Without a Noun

Sometimes we use intensive pronouns on their own without a noun.

♦ It is myself.
♦ You are hardly yourself to-day.

Simple Personal Pronouns

One of the classic errors is using myself” to sound more formal instead of ‘me’ or ‘I’.

♦ He was kind to Layla and me (NOT myself).
♦ They invited my wife and me (NOT myself).

We shouldn’t use intensive pronouns like regular pronouns.

♦ My friend and myself went shopping is incorrect; it should be ‘My friend and I’.

Remember, compound personal pronouns aren’t about sounding fancy; they have specific roles in our sentences.

RelateSocial: connect with customers!

Exercises for Using Compound Personal Pronouns

Take a few moments and replace the blanks with the correct compound personal pronouns.

  1. Mark made this sandwich all by ________.
  2. We need to remind ________ to be kind.
  3. She accidentally cut ________ while cooking.
  4. I told ________ that everything would be okay.
  5. Can you get ________ ready for school?
  6. They built that treehouse by ________ without any help.
  7. You should treat ________ to a day out after all this hard work.
  8. He learned to fix bikes by ________ through online tutorials.
  9. We managed to complete the project by ________.
  10. She looked at ________ in the mirror and smiled.
  11. I can’t believe you did all this decorating by ________!
  12. They saw ________ in the video and couldn’t stop laughing.
  13. After the long journey, he finally found ________ at peace.
  14. We should prepare ________ for the upcoming challenges.
  15. She baked the cake all by ________ as a surprise.
  16. I have to convince ________ that I made the right decision.
  17. You all need to protect ________ from the cold.
  18. He painted the portrait by ________, which was impressive.
  19. They need to remind ________ of their goals daily.
  20. I taught ________ how to play the guitar during quarantine.
Click on the + button for the answers
  1. Mark made this sandwich all by himself.
  2. We need to remind ourselves to be kind.
  3. She accidentally cut herself while cooking.
  4. I told myself that everything would be okay.
  5. Can you get yourself ready for school?
  6. They built that treehouse by themselves without any help.
  7. You should treat yourself to a day out after all this hard work.
  8. He learned to fix bikes by himself through online tutorials.
  9. We managed to complete the project by ourselves.
  10. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled.
  11. I can’t believe you did all this decorating by yourself!
  12. They saw themselves in the video and couldn’t stop laughing.
  13. After the long journey, he finally found himself at peace.
  14. We should prepare ourselves for the upcoming challenges.
  15. She baked the cake all by herself as a surprise.
  16. I have to convince myself that I made the right decision.
  17. You all need to protect yourselves from the cold.
  18. He painted the portrait by himself, which was impressive.
  19. They need to remind themselves of their goals daily.
  20. I taught myself how to play the guitar during quarantine.

Compound Personal Pronoun Tips

1. Understand Their Functions: Know that compound personal pronouns can act as reflexive pronouns (the subject performs an action on itself) or as emphatic pronouns (to emphasize the subject).
2. Use for Reflection: Employ reflexive pronouns when the subject and object of the action are the same.
3. Add Emphasis: Use emphatic pronouns to stress the subject’s role in the action, often for dramatic or clarifying purposes.
4. Avoid Redundancy: Don’t use a compound personal pronoun when the sentence doesn’t require reflection or emphasis.
5. Ensure Clarity: Make sure the pronoun’s reference is clear to avoid confusion about whom or what it refers to.

6. Leverage for Humor or Irony: Used cleverly, they can add a humorous or ironic twist, especially in dialogue or first-person narration.
7. Be Consistent: Maintain consistency in pronoun usage according to your narrative voice and perspective of your piece.
8. Edit for Precision: Revisit your drafts to ensure you’ve used compound personal pronouns purposefully and accurately.
9. Practice Restraint: While they can be powerful for emphasis, overusing compound personal pronouns can distract and annoy readers.
10. Check Your Placement: Emphatic pronouns usually follow the verb or object they are emphasizing, while reflexive pronouns often appear directly after the verb.

Last Words on Compound Personal Pronouns

Compound personal pronouns can intimidate, but they’re super important for making our sentences clear and expressive. Once you figure out how to use them, you’ll have another grammar tool in your writing arsenal.

Happy writing!

Linda

 

Feature Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

.

Disclosure

The links below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you.

Publisher Rocket

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…