I'm describing how to use M$ remote desktop in an email with the sentence below.

"You can use any software or hardware attached to that computer as if you were sitting at the machine itself."

The use of "itself" seems incorrect. Granted, I could end the sentence at "machine", but is there a more suitable pronoun?

  • 1
    Why do you think itself is not right? Aug 29, 2016 at 23:09
  • 1
    Some might quibble about software 'installed' rather than 'attached', but the sentence itself is fine.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 29, 2016 at 23:09
  • itself sounds incorrect because of the "self" part of the word.
    – user38537
    Aug 29, 2016 at 23:39
  • 3
    itself doesn't imply personality. Its intended for inanimate things. Aug 30, 2016 at 0:02
  • 1
    An aside. Isn't "M$" a way to denigrate MicroSoft?
    – GEdgar
    Aug 30, 2016 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


Your usage of "itself" in this sentence is correct. You have used it as an emphatic pronoun, which serves to bring attention to the noun it follows. Since "machine" would be correctly referenced by the pronoun "it," the appropriate emphatic pronoun is "itself."

More reading: http://www.englishpractice.com/improve/reflexive-emphatic-pronouns/

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