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English definition of “themselves”

themselves

pronoun     /ðəmˈselvz/
A2 used when the subject of the verb is 'they' or a group of people , and the object is the same group of people : They asked themselves where they had gone wrong . Did the children enjoy themselves at the party ?Reflexive forms used for emphasis when the subject is 'they': They themselves had no knowledge of what was happening . (all) by themselves alone or without help from anyone else : Small children should not be left by themselves. They collected the evidence all by themselves . (all) to themselves for their use only: They had the whole campsite to themselves. Grammar:Pronouns: reflexive (myself, themselves, etc.)Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves. They refer back to the subject forms of personal pronouns (underlined in the example below):Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for same subject and objectWe often use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of the verb refer to the same person or thing:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for emphasisWe can use reflexive pronouns for emphasis:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns + by meaning aloneWe often use reflexive pronouns with by to mean ‘alone’ or ‘without any help’:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for politenessWe sometimes use reflexive pronouns instead of personal pronouns for politeness, but not as the subject of a clause:
(Definition of themselves pronoun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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