Intensive pronoun

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An intensive pronoun adds emphasis to a statement; for example, "I did it myself." While English intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, yourself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves) use the same form as reflexive pronouns, an intensive pronoun is different from a reflexive, because the pronoun can be removed without altering the meaning of the sentence. An intensive noun works with the antecedent, the word the pronoun replaces. For example, compare "I will do it myself," where "myself" is intensive and can be removed without changing the meaning, to "I sold myself," where "myself" fills the necessary role of direct object.[1]

In other languages

Latin has a dedicated intensive pronoun, ipse, -a, -um, used to emphasize a noun or pronoun in either a subject or predicate of a sentence

In Danish, emphasis is indicated using the word selv; "I will do it myself" is rendered Jeg gør det selv, when using a verb that requires reflextion this becomes similar to English except using two words;"I help myself" is rendered Jeg hjælper mig selv.

In Spanish, as in most pro-drop languages, emphasis can be added simply by explicitly using the omissible pronoun. Following the above example, "I will do it myself" is rendered "Lo haré yo." Adding "mismo" after the pronoun yields additional emphasis. French uses the disjunctive pronouns for the same purpose.

See also


  1. Leonardi, Vanessa (2012). Cognitive English Grammar. ed. p. 40. ISBN 9788862923026.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Leonardi is a professor at the University of Ferrara, Italy; see "Leonardi Vanessa". Università degli studi di Ferrara. Retrieved 2014-04-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Ramsey, Samuel (1968). The English Language and English Grammar. Ardent Media. p. 324.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Discusses how English came to acquire reflexive and intensive pronouns from earlier languages.