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There seems to be a bit of inconsistency with "-self" pronouns. Some are possessive while others are objective/subjective:


  • Yourself
  • Ourselves
  • Itself(?)


  • Himself
  • Herself
  • Themselves
  • Itself(?)

The first set use the possessive pronoun; the second don't. Why?

Similarly, is "itself" "it"+"-self" or "its"+"-[s]elf"?

marked as duplicate by tchrist Sep 6 '16 at 1:46

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  • Please search the site for questions that have already been answered. – tchrist Sep 6 '16 at 1:47
  • 1
    Well, don't expect much regularity in stuff like this; the usual combining rules don't apply to pronouns. As it happens, first and second person reflexive pronouns are formed from the possessive stem (my-, our-, your-), while third person reflexive pronouns are formed from the objective stem (him-, her-, it-, them-). It's got two different regular formations instead of one. After all, it's doubly inflected -- plural is marked on both parts: them is plural, and so is selves -- so it's got lots of room for irregularity. – John Lawler Sep 6 '16 at 1:48

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