Intensive pronouns use the same pronouns as the reflexive pronouns, that is personal pronouns with singular -self or plural –selves added at the end (myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves). An intensive pronoun differs from a reflexive pronoun in its functiion which is to add emphasis to the subject, whereas the reflexive pronoun is used to show that the object of an action is the same as the subject that performs the action. The intensive pronoun is not a required part to complete a sentence. Its removal will not affect the meaning of the sentence.
We use the intensive pronoun in a sentence to refer back to the noun which is the subject of the sentence in order to emphasize it. For this reason, the intensive pronoun is also called emphatic pronoun.
The intensive pronoun comes immediately after the noun or antecedent as it is known.The pronoun refers back to the antecedent. Occasionally, the intensive pronoun may appear farther away, especially at the end of the sentence.
- I myself did it without help from anybody.
(The intensive pronoun myself refers to the subject I and gives it emphasis to indicate it was I who did it.)
- He fixed the leaking roof himself.
Removal of an intensive pronoun does not affect the meaning of a sentence.
- She herself cooked the dinner.
She cooked the dinner.
Very rarely does an intensive pronoun appear before its antecedent.
Myself, I would never do a thing like that.
Intensive pronoun commonly comes immediately after the pronoun it refers to.
- I myself can look after the whole place.
- You yourself will have to answer for your action.
- He himself repaired the machine.
- They themselves set up the makeshift camp.
Intensive pronoun is not always used to emphasize a noun.
- The team felt that the uneven field itself was to blame for their loss.
- Why the facts themselves were not used as evidence?
Intensive pronoun appears further away or at the end of a sentence.
- I can look after the whole place myself.
- You will have to explain to them yourself.
- She wrote the short story herself.
- The store is on the corner of the street itself.
- The children caught the big snake themselves.