Each other / one another / ourselves


These phrases have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.

We speak to each other every day.  / We speak to one another every day.

Compare the following:

    • Maria hurt herself. (Meaning: Maria hurt Maria)
    • Maria hurt her. (Meaning: Maria hurt another girl).
  • Paolo taught himself how to play the guitar. (Meaning: Paolo didn’t have a teacher. He learnt on his own).
  • Paolo taught him how to play the guitar. (Meaning: Paolo taught another boy how to play the guitar)

Reflexive Pronouns are common with some verbs:

enjoy injure look after injure
introduce behave help behave
hurt teach cut burn


Common Mistakes
Some common verbs with are reflexive in other languages are NOT reflexive in English.
I relaxed on the beach.         Not: I relaxed myself
They felt ill.                             Not: They felt themselves ill.
We concentrate.                     Not: We concentrate ourselves.

Some verbs are used in with a reflexive pronoun when it is a surprise that a person completed a task.


She walked by herself when she was only 9 months old.

He shaved himself for the first time since the accident.

Complete the multiple-choice exercise below by choosing a reflexive pronoun, each other or one another.

  Should Vs Should Have + Past ParticipleExtreme Adjectives Exercises   


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