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What Are Intensive Pronouns? (with Examples)
The intensive pronouns (also called emphatic pronouns
) are myself
, and themselves
These words can be either intensive pronouns
or reflexive pronouns
This page is about their use as intensive pronouns.
Using Intensive Pronouns
An intensive pronoun
refers back to another noun
(or pronoun) in the sentence
to emphasize it. For example:
- The mayor himself attended the ceremony.
(The mayor is the noun being intensified. It is called the antecedent of the intensive pronoun.)
When used for emphasis, a word like himself
is called an intensive pronoun (which is also known as an emphatic pronoun
Examples of Intensive Pronouns
Here are some examples of intensive pronouns:
- She will do it herself.
(The intensive pronoun herself emphasizes that she will do it. Her husband won't do it. Her son won't do it. SHE will do it.)
- The boys baked these scones themselves.
(The intensive pronoun themselves emphasizes that the boys baked the scones, i.e., not their mothers.)
- I heard the lie myself.
(The intensive pronoun myself emphasizes that I heard the lie.)
Note: It's not always about people:
- The dog opened the cupboard itself.
You can test if it's an intensive pronoun by removing it and seeing if you get the same effect by emphasizing the thing you're trying to emphasize with your voice (shown here in uppercase).
- SHE will do it.
- I heard the lie.
- THE DOG opened the cupboard.
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