Himself vs Himselves (+Him Self): What’s the Correct Usage?

Marcus Froland

Learning the correct usage of pronouns, especially reflexive pronouns, is an essential part of mastering English grammar rules. Sometimes, it can be challenging to differentiate between singular and plural pronouns, not to mention understanding the proper uses of personal pronouns. This article will help you navigate the complexities of reflexive pronouns by comparing the correct usage of “himself” with the incorrect forms “himselves” and “him self.” So, let’s get your pronoun game on point!

Understanding Reflexive Pronouns in English

Reflexive pronouns play an essential role in sentence construction and provide precision in the English language. To understand them correctly, it’s crucial to grasp their role in a sentence and be aware of common misconceptions and mistakes. This section will cover these aspects in-depth.

The Role of Reflexive Pronouns in a Sentence

Reflexive pronouns serve to indicate that the action of a verb is being done to the same subject. In other words, it highlights that the subject and the object of the sentence are the same person or thing. Many common reflexive pronouns include myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, and themselves. Here’s an example:

“He needs to bake the cake himself.”

In this sentence, the reflexive pronoun himself emphasizes that the subject (he) is also the receiver of the action (baking the cake).

Common Misconceptions About Reflexive Pronouns

It is quite common for English learners to encounter reflexive pronoun errors and misconceptions. A typical mistake is the usage of non-existent plural reflexive pronouns like “himselves” or incorrect fragments such as “him self.” These forms are not recognized as correct in English-language grammar, and usage should be avoided in standard English. The correct reflexive pronoun for the singular pronoun “he” is “himself.”

Incorrect Usage Correct Usage
himselves himself
him self himself

Learning to identify and avoid these common English mistakes will improve your English language grammar and sentence construction skills, making your writing more precise and easier to understand.

The Singular Pronoun “He” and Its Reflexive Form

In the English language, pronouns play a crucial role in constructing sentences with proper grammar. When it comes to the singular pronoun “he,” understanding its reflexive form is essential to ensure that your writing remains clear and correct. The reflexive form of “he” is “himself,” which indicates that the pronoun is acting upon itself in a sentence.

Using the reflexive form correctly can help prevent confusion and miscommunication. For example, if you want to express that a man is taking responsibility for cutting the grass due to a lack of a gardener, you would use the proper reflexive pronoun:

He has to cut the grass himself. We had no gardener.

The reflexive pronoun “himself” is essential in this sentence because it clarifies that the subject (“he”) is also the receiver of the action (cutting the grass). Misusing reflexive pronouns can lead to ambiguity and an unprofessional appearance in your writing.

To further illustrate the proper use of singular pronoun “he” and its reflexive form, consider the following examples:

  1. He accidentally cut himself while cooking.
  2. He found himself lost in the forest after wandering off the trail.
  3. He realized he needed to push himself harder to succeed in his goals.

The reflexive pronoun “himself” emphasizes that the person “he” represents in each of these sentences is both the subject and the recipient of the action. By understanding and utilizing the reflexive form of “he” correctly, you can elevate your language skills and communicate more effectively in written and spoken English.

Clarifying the Correct Use of “Himself”

Understanding the correct use of “himself” as a reflexive pronoun is essential for perfecting your English language skills. This pronoun is used when the male subject of the sentence is both the doer and the receiver of an action. To fully understand the rules of context-based grammar, let’s look at some examples that show how to use “himself” correctly in a sentence.

Examples of “Himself” in Context

Here are a few examples to help you understand when to use “himself” as a reflexive pronoun:

  • He has to style his hair himself since his favorite hairstylist was unavailable.
  • After the party, Jack cleaned the entire house himself to ensure it was spotless.
  • Rather than letting someone else carry his bags, Tom insisted on carrying them himself.

These examples demonstrate that “himself” is used to indicate that the subject of the sentence is performing an action on themselves. Conversely, it’s crucial to avoid utilizing grammatically incorrect forms such as “himselves” and “him self,” which are not considered valid in English grammar.

“Oliver repaired the broken chair himself since he couldn’t find a carpenter.”

In the aforementioned example, the subject “Oliver” is performing the action (repairing the chair), and he is also the recipient of that action because he is doing it all by himself without the assistance of another person.

Correct Use of “Himself” Incorrect Use of Reflexive Pronouns
He baked a cake himself on his birthday. He baked a cake himselves on his birthday. (Incorrect)
John did his homework himself without any help. John did his homework him self without any help. (Incorrect)

By understanding the concept of reflexive pronouns and using “himself” correctly in context, you can improve your language skills and avoid common grammar errors in your written and spoken English. Practice using “himself” in various sentences to become more comfortable with this reflexive pronoun and refine your English grammar skills.

Debunking the Myth of “Himselves”

As English language learners and even native speakers seek to improve their grammar skills, certain misconceptions often arise. One such misconception is the existence and use of the term “himselves.” This stems from a misunderstanding of the fact that “he” is always singular and has a singular reflexive pronoun—that being “himself.” In this section, we’ll debunk the myth that “himselves” is a legitimate English language term and help to clarify the proper use of reflexive pronouns.

In English grammar, reflexive pronouns are used to denote situations where the subject of the sentence is also the object and is performing an action upon itself. For example, in the sentence, “He taught himself to play the piano,” the subject (“he”) is the one doing the action of learning, and he is also the one receiving the action (learning how to play the piano).

He taught himself to play the piano.

However, it is important to remember that “he” is a singular pronoun; therefore, it does not have a plural reflexive pronoun equivalent. The term “himselves” is an incorrect and non-existent form in correct English grammar. This understanding is crucial to avoid grammar myths and misconceptions like the incorrect use of “himselves.”

Here is a summary of the singular personal pronouns and their reflexive pronoun counterparts in English:

Personal Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun
He Himself
She Herself
It Itself

“Himselves” is an incorrect and non-existent form in English grammar. To avoid falling victim to this grammar myth, remember that the reflexive pronoun associated with the singular pronoun “he” is “himself.” As you continue on your journey to master the English language, always be cautious of such misconceptions and aim to solidify your understanding of proper grammar rules.

The Incorrect Fragment “Him Self” in English Grammar

In the English language, the fragment “him self” is frequently misused, leading to confusion and grammatical errors. Contrary to common belief, “him self” is not a correct reflexive pronoun and should not be used in standard English. The correct reflexive pronoun associated with the personal pronoun “he” is “himself.” This section aims to clarify the misuse of “him self” and provide an overview of the proper contexts for using “self” with possessive pronouns.

Appropriate Contexts for Using “Self” With Possessive Pronouns

Although the fragment “him self” is incorrect, it is important to note that the word “self” can be used in conjunction with possessive pronouns in certain contexts. One such instance is when referring to a person’s inner qualities, characteristics, or being. In these scenarios, the correct form is “his self” as opposed to “him self.”

To illustrate the difference between the correct and incorrect usage, here are some examples:

Incorrect: “He should be proud of him self.”

Correct: “He should be proud of himself.”

Correct: “His self-esteem has greatly improved.”

Here are additional examples of the correct use of “self” with possessive pronouns:

  • Her self-confidence has grown with practice.
  • His self-discipline allowed him to achieve his goals.
  • Your self-awareness is essential for personal development.
  • My self-expression is often reflected in my art.

It is crucial to understand the proper contexts for using “self” with possessive pronouns and avoid the misuse of the incorrect fragment “him self.” Always remember that the correct reflexive pronoun for “he” is “himself,” and “his self” can be used in cases where it refers to a person’s inner qualities or being. By following these guidelines, you can ensure correct English usage in your writing and communication.

Regional Variations: Understanding the Use of “Hisself”

Throughout the English-speaking world, there are regional dialects that may use variations in the grammar and vocabulary of standard English. One such example is the use of “hisself” in place of “himself” primarily in Southern American English. While the use of “hisself” is widely recognized in the regional dialect, it may lead to situations where speakers of other English dialects might find it hard to comprehend or accept this non-standard form.

The Implications of Using Non-Standard English

Using non-standard English, or dialectal forms of pronouns, can be both a source of pride for some speakers and a source of confusion or even discrimination for others. Those who speak a regional dialect may feel a sense of belonging and cultural identity tied to their unique use of language. However, the use of non-standard forms like “hisself” can also make communication more challenging.

Pros:

  • Preserves cultural heritage
  • Conveys a unique sense of identity
  • Encourages linguistic diversity

Cons:

  • May cause misunderstandings or confusion
  • Potentially results in language-based discrimination
  • Can impact professional prospects

In some cases, non-standard forms can lead to negative judgments from others. A speaker who consistently uses “hisself” instead of “himself”, for example, might be perceived as less educated or professional. This could affect the speaker’s opportunities in academic or professional settings.

“In this ever-changing world, global and technological advancement demands our ability to communicate effectively, and non-standard use of language might hinder that.”

Non-Standard Form Standard Form
Hisself Himself
Theirselves Themselves
Y’all You all

While regional language variations and dialects are an important aspect of cultural diversity, it’s essential to be aware of the implications of using non-standard English forms such as “hisself.” Being conscious of the potential confusion and negative perceptions that can arise from non-standard usage can help ensure that both you as a speaker and the language itself continue to flourish in a globalized world.

Refining Your Language Skills: Best Practices in Pronoun Use

As you continue refining your language skills and mastering English grammar, it is crucial to pay close attention to pronoun best practices. This includes understanding the correct forms and functions of reflexive pronouns and avoiding common mistakes like the use of “himselves” or “him self.” Knowing the correct reflexive pronoun “himself” is essential to proper English grammar. To help you further, we’ve outlined some valuable tips and practices below.

As with any skill, practicing your grammar and language abilities is necessary to gain fluency and confidence. The same goes for mastering reflexive pronouns. Devote ample time to studying the correct usage of reflexive pronouns, such as “himself,” and be mindful of common errors to enhance your expertise.

Next, let’s look at some specific tips and best practices for using pronouns in your English writing and conversation:

  1. Understand the differences between personal and reflexive pronouns: Recognize the proper function and usage of both pronoun types. For example, use “he” as a subject pronoun and “himself” as a reflexive pronoun when the subject and object are the same person.
  2. Avoid using non-existent pronoun forms: As mentioned earlier, “himselves” and “him self” are incorrect and should be avoided. Stick to the correct forms and maintain consistency in your writing and speech.
  3. Keep an eye on regional variations: While some non-standard forms like “hisself” might be acceptable in certain regional dialects, always be aware that they can cause confusion in broader contexts. Stick to standard English when communicating with global audiences to ensure clarity.
  4. Practice with examples: Familiarize yourself with various examples of correct pronoun usage in different contexts. This will help you develop an innate understanding of when to use reflexive pronouns and avoid mistakes.

By following the tips and practices outlined above, you will be well on your way to refining your language skills and mastering English grammar. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to seek out exercises, quizzes, or even native speakers to help you improve your understanding of reflexive pronouns and other crucial grammatical components.