In this sentence, we see that Harry shot Harry, and that no one else was responsible for that action but Harry alone. We use a reflexive pronoun instead of using Harry twice in a sentence.
b) Sue bathes herself.
Here we see that Sue is taking a bath and that no one else is bathing her. Therefore, we say Sue bathes herself
.c) They like keeping themselves fit.
In this example, we see that the couple are lifting weights, to stay fit. Therefore, we say They like keeping themselves fit
When NOT to use Reflexive Pronouns:
When there are a number of verbs with which we rarely or never use reflexive pronouns
They include: adapt, behave, complain, concentrate, get up, hide, lie down, meet, move, relax, remember, shave, shower, and sit down.
After a preposition of place or location we use a personal pronoun and not a reflexive pronoun.
She put the backpack next to her.
Note: The reflexive pronouns are never used to substitute the subject or object pronoun.
Wrong: Raj and myself will study English together.
Right: Raj and I will study English together.
Wrong: Joseph and myself wrote the news article.
Right: Joseph and I wrote the news article.
When to use reflexive pronouns:
1. When the subject and the object refer to the same person or thing.
Example: The dog is scratching itself – it must have fleas!
2. We use them to add emphasis to the doer of the action.
Example: I did it myself.
3. We use it we wish to express similar meaning.
Example: Anna was very relieved last night. I was quiet relieved myself.
Most transitive verbs can take a reflexive pronoun as a direct object. However, given below are some of the most commonly used ones:
I prepared the meal myself.
John blamed himself for the mishap.
- The rowdy hooligans were ordered by the judge to behave themselves.
In the case of intransitive verbs, the reflexive pronoun will follow any preposition used with the verb.
Examples: The baby laughed at itself while looking in the mirror.
Senility often causes people to talk to themselves.
They were pleased with themselves
for completing the task on time.
Remember, we generally never use a reflexive pronoun with a preposition of place.
Common preposition of place: in front of, behind, above, in, on, between, next to, below, under etc.