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Intensive Pronoun

An Intensive Pronoun also called Emphatic Pronouns is a word that replaces a noun and adds emphasis to a statement. Intensive pronouns often appear as appositives after nouns or other pronouns because the pronoun can be removed without altering the meaning of the sentence to avoid repeating the same word. The intensive pronouns) are: myself, yourself, himself ,herself, itself, yourselves, ourselves and themselves.

  1. I myself am sick of the heat.
  2. We ourselves made the meal.
  3. The artist herself wrote those lines.

In order to intensify a word which already exists in the sentence, we use the intensive pronouns.  In this context, we should keep in mind that personal pronouns like I, you, he, she, it, we, they, you, ours, theirs, yours cannot be replaced by Intensive pronouns. To make a sentence important or highlight a sentence, we use intensive pronouns. An intensive noun works with the antecedent, the word the pronoun replaces.

The main role of Intensive pronouns is to add importance or intensify the word which is already present in the sentence. The way to identify an intensive pronoun is to remove it from the sentence; if it’s an intensive pronoun, the sentence will still make sense. An intensive pronoun refers back to another noun or pronoun in the sentence to emphasize it.

  • I did the work myself.
  • I heard the lie myself.
(Here in the sentence, ‘myself’ is an intensive pronoun. Here ‘ myself’ intensifies or emphasizes  the pronoun ‘I’)

The Intensive pronouns are as follows:
  1. Itself
  2. Yourself
  3. Myself
  4. Herself
  5. Himself
  6. Themselves
  7. Ourselves
  8. Yourselves


Examples of Intensive Pronouns

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 1. Itself                                          The dog opened the box itself.
 The cat played with the ball itself.
 The ant made its house itself. 

 2. Yourself   Please take care of yourself.
 Are you talking to yourself?
 Can you pamper yourself a little more? 

 3. Myself   I cooked the food myself.
 I played with the blocks myself.
 Can I introduce myself?

 4. Herself  She finished the homework herself.
 Can she eat by herself?
 After realizing her mistake, she laughed to herself.
 5. Himself  The boy played the guitar himself.
 Let him work out the sum himself.
 Can he find the road by himself?

 6. Themselves   The girls helped themselves.
 They brought the car themselves.
 They can find their way themselves.

 7. Ourselves  Why do we hate ourselves?
 Did we go there by ourselves?
 We partied by ourselves.

 8. Yourselves  Enjoy yourselves!
 Do not put yourselves into any kind of trouble.
 You yourselves can win this game.

Intensive pronoun does not always refer to a subject in the sentence. They can also refer to any other noun or pronoun in the sentence.

  • She made an apple pie for her teacher herself. (Here, the intensive pronoun intensifies the noun ‘teacher’)
  • My mother herself made the chocolate cake. (Here, the intensive pronoun ‘ herself’ refers to the subject of the sentence but we can also remove the intensive pronoun and the meaning of the sentence will still remain the same.)

So as intensive pronouns continue to emphasize a sentence, it does not add any extra meaning to it. In case, if it is removed, the sentence will continue to mean the same. We can rewrite the sentences by omitting them. If omitted, it does affect the sentence. It is not compulsory to add basic meaning of the sentence.

  1. I myself repaired the car
  2. He himself killed the rat.
  3. She washed all the clothes by herself.
  4. They themselves solved the mystery.
  5. Don’t destroy yourselves.
  6. We cut the vegetables ourselves.
Here, all the –selves word add emphasis or refer to the subject of the sentence.  Their presence makes the sentence stronger but if we take them away the sentence will remain the same.  The primary meaning of the sentences will never change.


Choose the correct intensive pronouns for each sentence.
  1. Let's turn ourselves in and get a high priced lawyer.
  2. Drama allows them to distance themselves from painful situations.
  3. I booked the movie ticket myself.
  4. Don't put yourselves at risk, ever.
  5. The phone itself isn’t so amazing.
  6. He himself paid the room rent.
  7. How do we get ourselves into these messes?
  8. She herself went to the market and bought the vegetables.
  9. I myself like a little stroll after dinner.
  10. The author approved the book cover himself.
  11. Why had they allowed themselves to completely lose control?
  12. The cat itself caught the mouse.
  13. You yourself are responsible for this chaos!
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