Relying on reflexive pronouns

Technology makes people rely themselves on instruments.

In this sentence, themselves is described by grammarians as a ‘reflexive pronoun’. Reflexive pronouns are used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject. For example:

Reflexive pronoun example
However, verbs like rely and depend, do not require reflexive pronouns:

  • Many small companies rely on college students.
  • A cloud database relies on cloud technology.
  • Economic success ultimately depends on private firms.
  • Heat dissipation depends on body surface area.

Returning to our opening example, we need:

  • Technology makes people rely on instruments.

Indonesian flag Indonesians need to take care when translating “menggantungkan diri pada..”

2 comments on “Relying on reflexive pronouns

  • Many native speakers of English say ‘myself’ when referring to themselves, as the word ‘me ‘ seems far too informal. This is becoming most common. ‘If you can get this to myself by Monday’…

    Non native speakers would rarely commit this error

    Reply
    • mm

      Right. I suppose there’s also the situation where you refer to a person in authority as ‘himself’, either do indicate familiarity or sometimes contempt. “If you can get this to ‘himself’ by Monday..” A slightly different problem to the one illustrated in the post, but ya.. interesting. Thanks for commenting!😊

      Reply

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