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My English teacher explained about themself and themselves.

I don't really quite understand though.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by tchrist, Hellion, Jon Hanna, choster, phenry Jul 8 '14 at 16:59

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You have failed to present what it is you do not know, or what your teacher said, or how the dictionary confused you. Therefore, this question will be closed as the General Reference flavor of Off Topic unless you remedy that situation. ELU is not a 24-hour helpline for English Language Learners stumbling through English. Rather, ELU is “a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.” Your question does not qualify for this site as currently worded. – tchrist Jul 8 '14 at 15:28

1 Answer 1

Themself is himself or herself when you don't know the gender or simply wish not to disclose it. There's even something more intricate here. There's "they" that is singular too!

Don't be fooled by the them part. It's still a singular. I find that confusing too.

In the future, provided that your English is at a beginner level, you might want to get more patient and rewarding answers if you turn to the other English-related site, the one for learners.

Here, you might ask a question like: "in what century did the word themself start to be spelled in the modern way and why did that happen".

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That would be the 14th century: All þaa þat blisses þe Sal þam-self blessed be. Indeed, themself was the normal form even with the plural up through the mid 16th century: 1533 Sir Thomas More Apol. 7 b, ― They se full well them selfe, that they saye not trew. – tchrist Jul 8 '14 at 15:54
And the OED's first citation of "themself" as the reflexive pronoun for the singular "they" is from the 15th century: (circa 1450) Euery creature That ys gylty and knowyth thaym-self coulpable. – Peter Shor Jul 8 '14 at 18:50

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