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C6. Telling jokesillustration

reflexive pronouns

Once there was a man travelling on a train. A woman sitting opposite him noticed that the man was talking to himself. Every now and then, after saying something to himself under his breath, he laughed. Sometimes, after saying something to himself, he groaned. This went on for twenty minutes.
   ‘I wonder what he’s doing,’ the woman wondered to herself.
   At last, feeling curious, the woman decided to speak to him.
   ‘Excuse me, but can I ask what you are doing?’ she asked.
   ‘I get bored on long journeys so I’m passing the time by telling myself jokes,’ he replied.
   ‘When it’s a good joke, sometimes I make myself laugh.’
   ‘I see,’ said the woman, ‘But why do you groan sometimes?’
    ‘Well’, the man explained, ‘That’s when it’s a joke I already know.

Grammar: reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used to talk about actions where the subject and the object are the same.
Incorrect: I hurt me.  Correct: I hurt myself.

   Subject pronouns
Object pronouns
Reflexive pronouns
   S he
   You (plural)

Sarah was looking at herself in the mirror.
The computer turns itself off after twenty minutes.
We really enjoyed ourselves at the party.

Complete these sentences with the correct pronoun.

1.   Helen and Mike! Great to see you. Come in and sit down. Make ________ comfortable!
2.   This is a great pie, Cathy. Did you bake it ________?
3.   I love the way Frank and Martin have painted their apartment. Do you know if they did it ________?
4.   Don’t worry about the heating. It switches ________ off when it’s the right temperature.
5.   Did your sister enjoy ________ on her trip last week?

Match the questions to the answers.

   6.   Did you hurt yourself? A.   Yes, thanks. We really enjoyed ourselves.
   7.   Did you buy that cake or did you make it yourself? B.   They did it themselves.
   8.   Do you turn off your computer when you finish?
C.   No, I’m fine. But thanks for asking.
   9.   Did you have a good time? D.   I made it myself.
   10. Who painted your neighbours’ house? E.   No, I don’t. It does it itself.

Vocabulary exercises

Choose the correct verb to complete the sentences.

go             get             sit             tell             pass

1.   How do you usually ________ the time when you are on a long journey?
2.  I don’t often________ jokes, because I often forget the endings.
3.   I didn’t want to ________ opposite anyone on the journey.
4.   I don’t ________ bored on train journeys because I look out of the window.
5.   I’m going to ________ up to the ticket inspector and ask him what time the train gets in.

Choose the correct preposition to complete the sentences.

6.   I noticed the teacher was talking below / down / under his breath.
7.   When I go on / for / at long journeys, I usually take a book with me.
8.   We were all laughing by / at / with Mark’s jokes.
9.   I think you should say something at / to / on him.
10. I’m pleased you’re here in / to / at last!


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