When the subject of a sentence is a personal pronoun, a reflexive pronoun refers back to the subject. The reflexive pronoun acts as the object pronoun. By using the reflexive pronoun, we show that the subject of the sentence is the same as the object with the subject acting on itself as expressed by the verb in the sentence.
There are altogether eight reflexive pronouns and none of these are used as the subject of a sentence. Each personal pronoun has a corresponding reflexive pronoun which is formed by adding –self to the singular and –selves to the plural pronouns as shown in the following table.
Besides those in the table, there is another reflexive pronoun: oneself.
The subject and the object are the same person. The antecedent subject pronoun comes first and the reflexive pronoun refers to it.
- She baked herself a birthday cake.
- She baked her a birthday cake.