LearningPortuguese

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are the ones that are used with reflexive verbs. They are used when the subject and object both refer to the same individual, and in English are usually words that end in ‘self’ or ‘selves’ (eg. ‘he behaved himself’; ‘they amused themselves’).

The same pronouns are used for reciprocal actions – that is, where subject and object act on each other (e.g., ‘they hated each other’, ‘we respect each other’).

The same group of pronouns are also known as ‘pronominal’ – which basically means that they are there for no particular reason! Some verbs take pronominal pronouns in the same way as reflexive verbs take reflexive pronouns – it's just that the pronouns do not actually serve any particular purpose. Since the pronouns for all 3 groups (reflexive, reciprocal, and pronominal) are identical, it is easier just to think of pronominal and reciprocal pronouns as being reflexive. The distinction is only made for the purposes of keeping pedantic grammarians happy.

OK, here they are:

Reflexive, Reciprocal, and Pronominal Pronouns

English

Portuguese

Notes

myself

me

 

ourselves

nos

 

yourself

te
se

As you can probably guess by now, ‘te’ is informal, and ‘se’ is formal.

yourselves

se
vos

‘vos’ is pretty much obsolete nowadays.

himself

se

 

herself

se

 

themselves

se

 

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