-self

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: self and self-

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From self; compare Dutch -zelf.

Suffix[edit]

-self

  1. Used in forming intensive and reflexive forms of the singular personal pronouns.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The plural counterpart is -selves.
  • In the third person, -self or -selves is attached to the pronoun's objective form (him, them); in the first person and second person, to its prenominal possessive form (my, your).
  • The suffixes -self and -selves may be separated by an intervening word or phrase (especially own) from the rest of the pronoun. When this occurs, self or selves stands alone as its own word, and the pronoun's prenominal possessive form is necessarily used; hence "himself" becomes "his own self", not *"him own self".
  • Both "his or herself" (with -self left attached to the latter pronoun) and "his or her self" (with self written as a separate word) are in use, though the former is more common. The abbreviated form "his/herself" exists as well.
  • These forms are sometimes used in formal contexts in place of the objective personal pronoun: "the quality of service you have received from ourselves" (us). This usage is often criticized.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]