Adding 'self'


Hi everybody,
1.David hid behind the wall.
1a.David hid himself behind the wall.
2.They resigned to the will of God.
2a.They resigned themselves to the will of God.
Are all above sentences O.K?
If you find mistakes in them please explain me
with grammatical details.
Yours truly,
  • FurryOne

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    1, 1a, and 2a are OK. 2 is not idiomatic.

    The reflexive resign oneself (usually used with to) means to accept something or submit to something -- usually something overpowering or unpleasant.
    e.g. After the accident, she resigned herself to spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

    The intransitive resign (usually used with from) means to leave or quit voluntarily.
    e.g. She resigned from that job because another company offered a much higher salary.

    You could also use resigned as a participle, in which case the meaning is the same as the reflexive.
    e.g. They are resigned to the will of god. She is resigned to life in a wheelchair.

    But with the auxiliary have it becomes a perfect tense, with the intransitive meaning.
    e.g. She has resigned from her old job, but hasn't found another one yet.


    No;2 - "They resigned to the will of God. " cannot be a sentence.
    "resigned to" is not a proper phrase. Am I O.K?

    Please see below the sentences:
    1. He had absented himself from the office for the day.
    1a. He had absented from the office for the day.
    2. I availed of the opportunity.
    2a. I availed myself of the opportunity.
    Are they following the grammar rules?
    Please comment on the correctness of those sentences and meaning?
    Thanks in advance,


    Senior Member
    It's a bit difficult to answer when you have two items that have the same number.

    "They resigned to the will of God" is incorrect. It requires the reflexive pronoun. However, you could say, "They were resigned to the will of God".

    1 and 2a in the lower section are correct. 1a and 2 are incorrect.

    "Availed" followed by the reflexive pronoun is an idiom in English. "Avail" can be used without a reflexive pronoun but not in this context. For example, "It will avail no one to panic until we have all the facts." 1a does not make sense to me because of the context.

    I cannot think of an example where "absent" as a verb does not take a reflexive pronoun. To my sleepy mind the verb demands a reflexive pronoun. I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet. Perhaps someone who is a little more awake will come up with an example. :)


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    If you do a Google Books search for the four words {absent avail content reflexive} you'll get a couple of English grammars that list such words. I can't paste them in here from Google Books, unfortunately. It looks like there's 60 or more verbs of this kind.
    < Previous | Next >