reflexive pronouns

Magg

Senior Member
Spain / Spanish
Hello all!

One of the uses I've read concerning reflexive pronouns is when the refl. pron. is the object of a preposition, e.g.:

I bought a present for myself.

My question is, what happens if I change myself instead of me?
Is there a difference?

Thanks,
Magg
 
  • Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Magg said:
    Hello all!

    One of the uses I've read concerning reflexive pronouns is when the refl. pron. is the object of a preposition, e.g.:

    I bought a present for myself.

    My question is, what happens if I change myself instead of me?
    Is there a difference?

    Thanks,
    Magg

    Hi Magg, you mean "I bought me a present"?
    I don't think this is correct, but now you've made me doubt...
     

    EVAVIGIL

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    Magg said:
    Hello all!

    One of the uses I've read concerning reflexive pronouns is when the refl. pron. is the object of a preposition, e.g.:

    I bought a present for myself.

    My question is, what happens if I change myself instead of me?
    Is there a difference?

    Thanks,
    Magg
    I would say "I bought a present for myself" or "I bought myself a present". ;)
    Cheers!
    EVA.
     

    philsollins

    New Member
    USA English
    I bought a present for me; I bought a present for myself.

    I bought me a present, I bought myself a present.

    They all sound correct to me (from the American side of the "pond"), the "myself" form a little more formal. I prefer the second pair if only because it's a simpler construction.

    But think about

    I bought him a present vs. I bought himself a present.

    The latter may sound wrong, but it's actually used to indicate buying something for someone who is, or at least considers "himself" to be, very important. This makes me think that originally only "I bought me a present" was correct and the "myself" wandered into the language as a way of sounding a little more erudite. Now we have people saying "visit with John and I" instead of the correct "with John and me" for much the same reason. I think this pronoun drift is happening also in Spanish but I'll stop here.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    philsollins said:
    I bought a present for me; I bought a present for myself.

    I bought me a present, I bought myself a present.

    They all sound correct to me (from the American side of the "pond"), the "myself" form a little more formal. I prefer the second pair if only because it's a simpler construction.

    But think about

    I bought him a present vs. I bought himself a present.

    The latter may sound wrong, but it's actually used to indicate buying something for someone who is, or at least considers "himself" to be, very important. This makes me think that originally only "I bought me a present" was correct and the "myself" wandered into the language as a way of sounding a little more erudite. Now we have people saying "visit with John and I" instead of the correct "with John and me" for much the same reason. I think this pronoun drift is happening also in Spanish but I'll stop here.
    I myself would never say, "I bought me a present." I would correct a child if s/he said it. It sounds feo to my ear. "I bought a present for myself" or "I bought myself a present" sounds much better :) .
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    jacinta said:
    I myself would never say, "I bought me a present." I would correct a child if s/he said it. It sounds feo to my ear. "I bought a present for myself" or "I bought myself a present" sounds much better :) .

    Me neither! It sounds very Spanglish :)
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    philsollins said:
    I bought him a present vs. I bought himself a present.

    The latter may sound wrong, but it's actually used to indicate buying something for someone who is, or at least considers "himself" to be, very important.
    I'm very sorry to step on your toes, phil, but I don't agree. I do, however, agree with Jacinta.

    "I bought himself a present" is wrong. In english, we use the words myself, himself, themselves, etc. with reflexive verbs. Reflexive verbs are when the action occurs to the subject; in other words: when the subject and object are the same. This means that they must in agreement. One cannot say, "I bought himself a present." Consequently, the sentence, "I bought myself a present" demands the myself to make it completely, and correctly, reflexive.

    IMHO
     

    philsollins

    New Member
    USA English
    Jacinta

    My first reaction was this is a matter of taste and what one is used, then I realized it’s simpler than that. You’re right; I’m wrong. Consider:

    He gave himself a present.
    He gave him a present.

    Both correct, each very different from the other. With “you” and “me” we can get away with using the objective pronoun (very colloquially, I agree) because there’s only one of each of us. But there are lots of “hims”. Thank you for putting my brain in gear.

    ¿Pues, como sale el mismo asunto en el español? Voy a necesitar ayuda pero me suena: ‘Me compré regalo. Se le compró regalo.’ Pero, que yo entienda, el segundo significa que el lo compró para otra persona. Si yo tuviera que decir “He bought himself a present”, diría algo como “Se le compró regalo—para si mismo”. Que alguien me corrija, por favor (y cualquier otro error).

    Phil
     

    philsollins

    New Member
    USA English
    Venusenvy

    See my previous note, which I had already prepared in Word so I could add accents, and I didn't want to redo the note. "I bought himself a present" may be gramatically incorrect (I think that point is arguable) but it is certainly used. You'll hear it more in England than in US, because Brits have lords and ladies and Americans don't. A butler might say it if he were telling someone else (yet another person) that he had bought Lord Didleydo a present. Check out the Dick Francis mystery novels if you want an example. But if it was unproductive to bring up such a colloquial and obscure use, I apologize.

    Phil
     

    Magg

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    jacinta said:
    I myself would never say, "I bought me a present." I would correct a child if s/he said it. It sounds feo to my ear. "I bought a present for myself" or "I bought myself a present" sounds much better :) .[/QUOTE

    Hi Jacinta,

    It's clear you don't like 'I bought me a present', but what do you think of 'I bought a presente for me' which was my former question; that of putting either the reflexive pronoun or the personal one at the end.

    Does it like you too? ;)

    Magg
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Notice that "I bought a present for me" has the preposition "for", which is absent from the other sentence.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    philsollins said:
    ¿Pues, como sale el mismo asunto en el español? Voy a necesitar ayuda pero me suena: ‘Me compré regalo. Se le compró regalo.’ Pero, que yo entienda, el segundo significa que el lo compró para otra persona. Si yo tuviera que decir “He bought himself a present”, diría algo como “Se le compró regalo—para si mismo”. Que alguien me corrija, por favor (y cualquier otro error).
    I think it would be:

    Me compré un regalo. (myself)
    Él se compró un regalo. (himself)
    Él le compró un regalo. (him "other")

    But I'm not sure that the first two sentences are possible. They sound a bit awkward. It may be that the preposition is obligatory in Spanish, and one must say:

    Compré un regalo para mí.
    Él compró un regalo para sí.

    :confused:
     

    charmedboi82

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I agree......... 'I bought himself a present.' could be used, but it's a highly specialized usage. I still wouldn't say it's correct.

    'I bought me a present.' It doesn't sound like Spanglish to me at all. I grew up miles and miles away from any Spanish speakers. It sounds like rural English like the following: At the carnival, I got me a funnel cake and a caramel apple.

    I would say they're both fairly common but not necessarily right.
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    philsollins said:
    Venusenvy

    See my previous note, which I had already prepared in Word so I could add accents, and I didn't want to redo the note. "I bought himself a present" may be gramatically incorrect (I think that point is arguable) but it is certainly used. You'll hear it more in England than in US, because Brits have lords and ladies and Americans don't. A butler might say it if he were telling someone else (yet another person) that he had bought Lord Didleydo a present. Check out the Dick Francis mystery novels if you want an example. But if it was unproductive to bring up such a colloquial and obscure use, I apologize.

    Phil
    También he oído yo himself y herself usado como títulos --especialmente en películas hechas en Irlanda--incluso en una casa humilde.

    Veo que es clasificado como "Dublin Slang" en este sítio:

    http://homepage.tinet.ie/~nobyrne/h.htm

    donde se puede encontrar lo siguiente:

    Himself, The man of the house; quasi-respectful reference to any male

    Herself, Quasi-respectful reference to wife or any female partner

    Así que se puede decir, "Is himself/herself at home now?"
     

    EVAVIGIL

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    Outsider said:
    I think it would be:

    Me compré un regalo. (myself) :tick:
    Él se compró un regalo. (himself) :tick:
    Él le compró un regalo. (him "other") :tick:

    But I'm not sure that the first two sentences are possible. They sound a bit awkward. It may be that the preposition is obligatory in Spanish, and one must say:

    Compré un regalo para mí.
    Él compró un regalo para sí.

    :confused:
    On the contrary, Outsider, the first three options are correct, and sound perfect...
    "Compré un regalo para mí" is possible, but sounds a bit awkward.
    "Él compró un regalo para sí" sounds very, very strange. It could be used in a very formal setting, I imagine. :rolleyes:
    Cheers from Madrid!
    EVA.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top