Reflexive Uses of Transitive Verbs

Reflexive Uses of Transitive Verbs :

A Transitive Verb is said to be used reflexively when the agent does something to himself. In that case the Object is expressed by some Reflexive Pronoun – himself, herself, myself, yourself, themselves, itself and ourselves.

1. He interested himself in my welfare.

The following Transitive Verbs never omit the Reflexive Pronoun.

1. Avail - He availed himself of the offer.
2. Absent - They absented themselves for that day.
3. Pride - He prided himself on his success.

The following Transitive Verbs omit or retain the Reflexive Pronoun without changes of meaning.

1. Hide - He hid or hid himself behind a tree.
2. Disperse - The clouds have dispersed or dispersed themselves.
3. Dress - He dressed or dressed himself as fast as he could.
4. Spread - The fog spread or spread itself over the field.

Transitive Verbs compounded with Adverbs

The Reflexive Pronoun is frequently omitted after Transitive Verbs compounded with an Adverb. The Verbs then become Intransitive.

1. He made off (ran away) with the money.
2. The horse broke out of (escaped from) the stable.
3. He pushed on (hurried forward) as fast as he could.
4. He got on (progressed) very well.
5. He got off (escaped) unharmed.
6. The plan broke down (collapsed or failed)
7. Cholera has broken out (suddenly appeared or started appearing).
8. He gave in (yielded or succumbed) after a short struggle.
9. He set out (started) at four P.M.
10. He put up (took up his quarters) with me.
11. I could not put up with (tolerate) his insolence.
12. He withdrew (withdrew himself or retired) from the meeting.

Some Verbs, when a Reflexive Pronoun is added to them, acquire some distinct or special meaning which they did not possess without it. The difference of meaning thus produced can be seen from the following examples.

1. He addressed (wrote a letter to) his friend on the subject.
2. He addressed himself (gave his attention) to his task.

1. He associated (kept company) with pleasant companions.
2. He associated himself (entered into partnership) with that firm.

1. He avenged his father's wrongs (took vengeance his father's wrongs).
2. He avenged himself on his enemies (took vengeance for his own wrongs).

1. An avaricious man delights in riches. (General)
2. An avaricious man delights himself with his riches. (Emphatic)

1. A cow feeds on grass. (General)
2. A cow feeds itself on grass. (Emphatic)

1. Guard against (beware of) that vice.
2. Guard yourself (take special precautions) against vice.

1. He indulged too freely in wine (drank it too freely.)
2. He indulged himself (gratified his appetite) too freely with wine.

1. You should provide (be prepared) against the evil day.
2. You should provide yourself with everything needful against the evil day.

1. He set to work (began work) without further delay.
2. He set himself (made a determined effort) to win a prize.

1. I trust in you (believe in your integrity).
2. I trust myself to you (commit myself to your care).

1. He worked hard at that business.
2. He worked himself up into a bad temper.

1. He prepared (made preparations) for the journey.
2. He prepared himself (made himself ready to appear) for the examination.

1. He set up (started or made a beginning) in business.
2. He set himself up in business (established himself).
3. He set himself up as (pretended to be) an expert.

1. He applied (made an application) to his superior officer.
2. He applied himself (gave great attention) to his studies.

Reflexive Uses of Transitive Verbs :

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Reflexive Uses of Transitive Verbs