What is the diffrence between emphatic & reflexive pronoun?

I would like to explain the difference between the two with the help of examples.

We use a reflexive pronoun when we want to refer back to the subject of the sentence or clause. Reflexive pronouns end in “-self" (singular) or “-selves” (plural).

There are eight reflexive pronouns, namely myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.

Few instances of the same are:

- He was ashamed of himself after his misconduct at school;

- Please help yourselves;

- Infants are unable to look after themselves; etc.

Emphatic pronouns, on the other hand, are used to just emphasise the action of the subject. For instance,

1. He himself ordered the birthday cake;

2. I consulted the property dealer myself, etc.

Kindly note that an emphatic pronoun can be removed from the sentence and the core meaning would not be affected. A reflexive pronoun, on the other hand, is vital. The sentence wouldn’t make complete sense or wouldn’t seem logical if you remove the reflexive pronoun.

Compare:
He himself cut the cake. He cut the cake.
He cut himself. He cut …what?

Thus, I hope the above explanations and the instances helped you understand the difference between the two.

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Difference between reflective and emphatic pronouns
A pronoun is a reflexive one if the action of the subject reflects upon the doer. Emphatic pronouns, on the other hand, are used to just emphasize the action of the subject.

He cut himself. (Reflexive: here the subject and object refer to the same person.)
He himself cut the cake. (Emphatic: here the emphatic pronoun himself merely puts emphasis on the noun he.)
I spoke to the principal myself. (Emphatic)
You must blame yourself for the loss. (Reflexive)

Note that an emphatic pronoun can be removed from the sentence and the core meaning would not be affected. A reflexive pronoun, on the other hand, is indispensable. The sentence wouldn’t make complete sense if you remove the reflexive pronoun.

Compare:
He himself cut the cake. He cut the cake.
He cut himself. He cut …what?

You will have noticed that in the first pair of sentences, the core meaning doesn’t change when the emphatic pronoun himself is removed from the sentence. In the second pair of sentences, the meaning changes or becomes incomplete when the reflexive pronoun is removed.

Notes:
If the reflexive pronoun in a sentence is replaced by the reciprocal pronoun ‘each other’, the meaning of the sentence changes drastically.

Compare:
John and Peter blamed themselves for the loss. (John blamed himself and Peter blamed himself.)
John and Peter blamed each other for the loss. (John blamed Peter and Peter blamed John.)

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when an action done by the subject turns back upon the subject , the pronoun we use to show this is called reflexive pronouns.


when a reflexive pronoun is used for laying emphasis , it is called emphatic pronouns.

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