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summary

- Reflexive pronouns (revision)

- Emphatic pronouns
   - To express surprise
   - Meaning "without help"
   - Order tendency

- Note for Spanish speakers

 

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Emphatic pronouns: Myself, yourself...
 
 
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Emphatic pronouns
 
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Myself, yourself...: Emphatic pronouns

Myself, yourself, himself, etc can be reflexive pronouns, to express that the subject and the object of the sentence is the same:

I cut my nails   (I cut, my nails are cut)
I cut myself   (I cut, I am cut, I+I=myself)

(see more about reflexive pronouns here)


But he same pronouns can be used simply to emphasize the subject for some reason. We use the emphatic pronouns in two different situations:

yes, that  person, strange but true.

- The King himself came to the festival (yes, the king in person!)
- I opened the door and saw the President himself
- The manager himself spoke to me
- Do you know who lives there? Robert Redford himself!
- I heard someone talking on the radio and suddenly I realized it was dad himself!

exactly that person (and not any other) and that person alone (without help)

- The house itself is very nice, but the garden is too small
- John himself was there at the party
- Her brother came to take her home himself
- Look, I did it myself
- Don't worry, she will do it herself (she, not you or anybody else)

Tendency: We often put the pronoun right after the subject when we express some kind of surprise

Kevin himself organized the party (I'm impressed he did)
Kevin organized the party himself (it was Kevin, nobody else)

 


The king himself= El rey en persona, el mismo rey, el mismísimo rey, nada menos que el rey, el rey ni más ni menos, precisamente el rey; el rey, que no otro.
The house itself= la casa propiamente dicha, la casa en sí
My mother herself= Mi madre en persona, mi madre precisamente, nada menos que mi madre, mi madre ella solita, mi madre!, mi madre misma

 

 

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