Tell which pronouns in the following sentences are reflexive and which are emphatic.
1. I myself heard his remarks.
2. We often deceive ourselves.
3. He himself said so.
4. I myself went to the market and bought it.
5. He himself painted the walls.
6. Raju did it himself.
7. Don’t touch that electric wire. You will hurt yourself.
8. I will give myself five days to finish that job.
9. John himself was not aware of the plan.
10. The terrorist shot himself.
11. Alice herself told me that she was quitting her job.
12. You must believe me. I myself heard him shout at her.
1. Emphatic (Here the pronoun myself merely adds emphasis to the pronoun subject I.)
2. Reflexive. (Here the pronoun ourselves acts as the object of the verb deceive.)
3. Emphatic (The pronoun himself puts an emphasis on the pronoun subject he.)
7. Reflexive (Here the pronoun yourself acts as the object of the verb hurt.)
If you have trouble finding out whether a pronoun is emphatic or reflexive try this simple trick. Just remove the pronoun from the sentence. If it still makes sense, the pronoun was emphatic. If it doesn’t, it was reflexive.
Study the following examples.
He killed himself.
Remove the pronoun himself and you will get ‘He killed’. Does it make complete sense? No, it doesn’t. So, the pronoun was reflexive. A reflexive pronoun acts as the object of a transitive verb. If you remove it, some meaning will be lost.
Now consider another example.
Sophie herself told me that she was going abroad.
Remove the pronoun herself from the sentence. Does the sentence still make sense? Yes, it does.
An emphatic pronoun merely puts an emphasis on a noun or pronoun. It can be removed without causing any ungrammaticality.