Intensive Pronouns

An intensive pronoun puts emphasis on the word that comes just before it in a sentence.

It's like the pronoun equivalent of italics. And just like reflexive pronouns, it ends in –self or –selves.

Examples of intensive pronouns include:
- Myself
- Yourself/yourselves
- Himself
- Herself
- Itself
- Ourselves
- Themselves



" I myself have never seen Bigfoot."

In this example, the intensive pronoun myself emphasizes I. Maybe this dude knows someone who knows someone who saw Bigfoot, but he himself never has.

"Aretha Franklin herself would envy my amazing singing skills."

Here, herself puts emphasis on Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and Amazing Hats.

"The Johnsons themselves chopped down their Christmas tree."

In this case, themselves puts emphasis on the old-fashioned Johnson family and their rippling lumberjack forearms.


Common mistakes

An intensive pronoun is never the subject of a sentence. Never never ever ever.

Clear enough?


Myself play the tuba in a polka-metal band.


I myself play the tuba in a polka-metal band.

The first sentence is incorrect because it uses myself as a subject, lacks an antecedent, and kind of makes the speaker sound like a caveman (who apparently loved intensive pronouns?). The second sentence is correct because it includes the antecedent I, which is the subject of the sentence and the word that the intensive pronoun myself emphasizes.


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