Emphatic Pronoun:

Emphatic pronouns are used to put stress on the subject. They intensify the subject to show that the subject does action by referring back to it. As usual, the subject can be a noun or a pronoun. Thus, they are also known as Intensive Pronouns. Emphatics pronouns are nothing but reflexive pronouns with a changed role.

These are also formed by adding -self (singular) or -selves (plural) at the end of certain personal pronouns. They depend on the number and gender of the noun.

Singular: Myself, Himself, Herself, Itself, Yourself

Plural: Yourselves, Themselves, Ourselves

For the purpose of emphasis, emphatic pronouns are placed either right after the subject or at the end of the sentence.

Examples:

  • He did it.
  • He himself did it.
  • He did it himself.

(The first sentence is a general sentence stating some work done by the subject ‘he’.But in the second and third sentence, with the help of emphatic pronoun, the focus is led on the fact that the subject ‘he’ has done something on his own)

  • They will renovate their farmhouse.
  • They will themselves renovate their farmhouse.
  • They will renovate their farmhouse themselves.

(In the first sentence, the focus is on the verb ‘renovate’’ done by the subject ‘They’. In the second and third sentence, the focus shifts towards the subject that the subject will do the verb on its own.)

Some more examples of Emphatic Pronouns:

  • I myself will investigate this matter.
  • We will take care of our family ourselves.
  • The Doctor himself is on a leave of three days.
  • You yourself can find your strength.

Ø Emphatic Pronouns vs Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used as objects when the doer and receiver of the action are the same. They can be direct objects, indirect objects or objects of prepositions. When we used them, the focus of the sentence still lies on the verb. If a reflexive pronoun is removed from a sentence, it might become meaningless.

Emphatic pronouns are used to emphasise or intensify the subject. They take away the focus from the verb and brings it to the subject of the sentence. If we remove an emphatic pronoun from a sentence, it will create no difference contextually or grammatically.

Examples:

  • She baked a cake.
  • She baked herself a cake. (Reflexive Pronoun – here it means that the subject ‘She’ has done the verb of baking a cake for herself. Focus is on the verb.)
  • She herself baked a cake. (Emphatic Pronoun – here the focus is on the subject that ‘She’ did the verb on her own without any help.)
  • She baked a cake herself. (Emphatic Pronoun – Same meaning as the above sentence just the placement of pronoun is changed.)

  • My daughter bought a new car.
  • My daughter bought herself a new car. (Reflexive Pronoun)
  • My daughter herself bought a new car. (Emphatic Pronoun)
  • My daughter bought a new car herself. (Emphatic Pronoun)

In the above sentences we can see that even if we remove the emphatic pronouns, there is no change in the meaning of the sentence. But when a reflexive pronoun is removed, it might change the meaning of the sentence.

Examples:

  • Jordan played well and he is proud of himself.
  • He is not doing it fair with himself.
  • You should try to stay truthful to yourself.

In the above sentences, we cannot remove the reflexive pronouns without changing the meaning of the sentence.

#KEY-NOTES:
  • Emphatic pronouns put emphasis on the subject, or they intensify the subject.
  • They are also known as Intensive Pronouns.
  • They are usually placed right after the subject the intensify or at the end of the sentence.
  • They are formed by adding -self (singular) or -selves (plural) at the end of certain personal pronouns.
  • English grammar has total eight reflexive pronouns: myself, himself, herself, itself, yourself, themselves, yourselves and ourselves.
SUMMARY:
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