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Emphatic pronouns

Sometimes we use reflexive pronouns like "myself" and "ourselves" for emphasis in a sentence, like, "If you won't help me, then I'll do it myself!" KA's Grammar Fellow, David, explains this usage.

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Alright, grammarians. So we know that there's one way to use this thing we call reflexive pronouns and that's to say you're doing something to yourself, as in the sentence I made myself breakfast. Right, I'm making myself breakfast. Or in the sentence Ronaldo cut himself shaving. Sorry about the capital S there, that is a mistake. So Ronaldo and himself and I and myself. We use, these are called reflexive pronouns and we use them when the subject and the object of a sentence is the same thing, right, but there's another way to use these reflexive pronouns and it's called emphatic usage. So I want you to imagine me storming off in a huff or getting really excited as I say the following: Well, if you won't help me, I'll do it myself! Or, he's lying, I heard it myself. Or, the princess herself is running the charity marathon. And what this is is what we call emphatic or intensive because we use it to intensify a statement or to grant it emphasis, right? This is how it works. So instead of just saying... and the difference, the key difference, between reflexive and intensive or emphatic usage of this kind of pronoun is you could take these right out of a sentence and it would still make sense. I'll do it, I heard it, the princess will run the marathon. Right, we're using them as intensifiers which really means they can come right out. They're not essential to the understanding of the sentence, you're just using these words in order to hammer home a point. You know, if someone else isn't helping you you say I'll do it, but you wanna really hammer home the fact that you're going to be doing it alone so you say I'll do it myself. And if you wanna emphasize that you were there and you heard something happen you would say I heard it myself. And if it's really crazy that the princess is running this marathon then you would say whoa, the princess herself will be there, and that's nuts. And that's the intensive or emphatic pronoun. That's how you use it. You can learn anything. David out.