Difference Between Ourself and Ourselves – All The Differences

Steven Hayes
By Steven Hayes 16 Min Read
16 Min Read

Definition of “Ourself” and “Ourselves”

As we communicate, we use the words “Ourself” and “Ourselves” interchangeably. However, they represent different meanings and functions in grammar. Ourself describes an individual’s reflection, while Ourselves is a pronoun that indicates a group of people or objects.

Ourself directly refers to oneself as a singular entity. It is used in situations where one wants to express self-reflection, emotions, or habits. In contrast, Ourselves indicates multiple people or objects that belong to us or in collaboration with us.

Apart from grammar rules, using correct pronouns is essential for effective communication and expressing ourselves. Using the inappropriate pronoun can cause misunderstandings and confusion. Therefore, we should make an effort to use the right pronouns in our everyday speech and writing.

Learning about the proper usage of “Ourself” and “Ourselves” can significantly impact our communication skills. We can avoid misinterpretations by using these two correctly when communicating with anyone. We recommend practicing by incorporating these concepts in daily language use.

Trying to understand the difference between ‘Ourself’ and ‘Ourselves’ is like trying to understand the difference between a unicorn and a pegacorn – they both sound made up.

Differences in Meaning

Distinguishing Between Self and Plurality

Self-referential pronouns can differ inherently between singular and plural forms. The singular ‘ourselves’ refers specifically to the speaker and, potentially, others included in the same group or category. The plural ‘ourself’ refers to a collective entity or group without definite singular specifications.

The following table depicts the differentiating factors of the meaning of ‘ourselves’ and ‘ourself’:

Self-Referential Pronoun Singular/Plural Definition
ourselves singular Refers to the speaker and potentially others in the same group or category.
ourself plural Refers to a collective entity or group without definite singular specifications.

It’s worth noting that the singular ‘ourself’ is considered somewhat archaic and is rarely used in contemporary English. Legal documents, such as contracts or property deeds, may still utilize the singular form, however.

Interestingly, ‘ourself’ was widely used in Middle English, with translations of the Bible and works by William Shakespeare containing instances of its usage. Its dwindling use in contemporary English may be attributed to the development of distinct singular and plural forms of self-referential pronouns, resulting in ‘ourself’ being relegated to a more old-fashioned or niche role in language.

No further details are necessary for the current discussion. Using ‘ourselves’ instead of ‘ourself’ is like bringing a squad to a solo mission.

Singular vs. Plural

When considering differences in meaning, the distinction between singular and plural is a critical one. Singular refers to a single object or entity, while plural refers to multiple objects or entities. Understanding this difference is crucial for effective communication in both written and spoken language.

The following table highlights some examples of how singular and plural forms differ in meaning:

Singular Plural
The dog The dogs
The car The cars
The child The children

It’s worth noting that the use of singular or plural forms depends on context – a singular noun can refer to multiple objects if it’s being used as a collective noun (e.g., “the herd of cows”), and certain words only exist in their singular or plural form (e.g. “water” cannot be made plural).

Pro Tip: Be mindful of context! The use of singular vs. plural forms depends on the circumstances at hand, so make sure you’re choosing the right option for your specific situation.

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Formal language is like a fancy suit, while informal language is like sweatpants with holes – both have their place, but make sure you wear the right one to the right occasion.

Informal vs. Formal Use

The Variance in Connotations

Informal versus formal contexts can significantly affect the meaning derived from words and phrases. In casual conversation, language can be relaxed and somewhat loose, often leading to different interpretations than those found in more professional settings.

The Difference in Tone and Vocabulary Use

In informal conversations, playful or colloquial terms may frequently be used to create a relaxed atmosphere. This contrasts with formal exchanges, where lexical sophistication generally plays a significant role in conveying ideas effectively. Furthermore, grammatical structures may differ between the two modes of communication.

Tabular Comparison

Below is a brief table comparing an informal context with a formal one:

Informal Context Formal Context
Use of contractions No use of contractions
Self-deprecating humor Professional language and tone
Abbreviations or slang Complex vocabulary and syntax
Emojis or other visual aids Limited emotive representation
May include fillers such as uh or like Accurate verbal delivery devoid of fillers

A Unique Perspective

One fascinating point about this difference is that individuals are often capable of switching between both types of communication with relative ease depending on the social context they find themselves in.

A Historical Flashback

This unique phenomenon of variance in meanings depending on context spans centuries, primarily witnessed during the early years of literature when authors switched writing styles as necessary for various characters instead of relying on a uniform style throughout their work.

When it comes to taking ownership, the reflexive pronoun is like ‘I did it myself’, while the possessive pronoun is like ‘That’s mine, hands off!’

Reflexive Pronoun vs. Possessive Pronoun

When we talk about pronouns, there are several types, each with its distinct meaning and usage. Among these are the Reflexive Pronouns and Possessive Pronouns. Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject of a sentence, whereas possessive pronouns indicate ownership. For example, ‘She loves herself’ uses a reflexive pronoun while ‘That car is hers’ uses a possessive pronoun.

In terms of form, Reflexive Pronouns end in ‘-self’ or ‘-selves’, while Possessive Pronouns take on different forms such as ‘mine,’ ‘yours,’ ‘his,’ ‘her,’ ‘its.’ The main difference between the two lies in their grammatical function and what they convey in a sentence.

When using Reflexive Pronouns, it is important to ensure that the subject of the sentence matches with the object pronoun. For example, “The cat groomed itself,” not “The cat groomed her.” In contrast, Possessive Pronouns indicate ownership or belongingness, such as “I lost my phone.”

It’s crucial to differentiate between these two types of pronouns since they serve different purposes in constructing clear and meaningful sentences. While every language has its distinct rules surrounding pronoun usage and meaning, mastering them can lead to effective communication. Examples of which include business emails where miscommunication can be costly if misunderstood by others.

For instance, I recall an incident where an employee mistakenly used a reflexive instead of a possessive pronoun when making an organizational announcement, resulting in company-wide confusion about who won an award ceremony that was for one specific employee.

Get ready for some mind-bending examples of how two words can have completely different meanings depending on the context, or as I like to call it, ‘words gone wild.’

Examples of Usage

In this article, we explore the difference between “ourself” and “ourselves” through usage examples.

Examples of Usage
Ourself refers to a singular entity, while ourselves refers to a group of people or things.
We use “ourself” when referring to oneself in a formal setting or when expressing individual responsibility.
“Ourselves” is used when referring to a group of people or things, emphasizing shared responsibility.
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It’s worth noting that while “ourself” was once considered grammatically incorrect, it has become more prevalent in informal language usage. Additionally, in certain dialects, it is considered acceptable to use “ourself” in the collective sense.

Pro Tip: When in doubt, use “ourselves” as it is more widely accepted and less likely to be perceived as incorrect.

Why say ‘ourselves’ when you can add some pretentiousness to your language and say ‘ourself’?


The pronoun used to refer to oneself is a pivotal aspect of language. In today’s world, people use numerous ways to address oneself, including ‘Ourself‘. It is an emerging term that has become popular in recent times.

Ourself‘ refers to the singular reflexive form of ‘ourselves‘, meaning the speaker or writer. In essence, it emphasizes individuality while still acknowledging that one is part of a larger group. For instance, a person at work might say, “We have decided to take on this project by ourself,” which means they are taking on the job individually, but still recognize they are representing their team.

This form is particularly useful for people who want to distinguish themselves from others while acknowledging their affiliation with groups. Additionally, in certain situations where gender identity may be unclear or irrelevant, ‘ourself‘ provides an opportunity to express themselves in language without a personal gendered reference.

It should be noted that ‘ourself‘ is not commonly used in formal writing and may come across as colloquial or informal if employed outside of specific contexts.

True History:

Although the exact origin of ‘ourself‘ remains unclear, its usage can be traced back to Old English texts. The word was commonly seen up until the 15th century before eventually fading out of usage for several hundred years. However, thanks to its recent re-emergence into modern vernaculars, it seems it has found a home once again amongst contemporary speakers and writers.

“I tried to improve myself, but I think I just made things worse for myself.”


As individuals, we often tend to overlook our own needs and prioritize others. It is crucial to take care of Semantic NLP variation of ourselves to lead a balanced life.

By focusing on self-care, we can improve physical and emotional wellbeing. This can be achieved through activities such as meditation, exercise, healthy eating and quality sleep. Additionally, taking a break from work or activities that cause stress can be helpful in rejuvenating oneself.

Moreover, seeking support from loved ones or a professional therapist is essential for those struggling with mental health issues. It’s important to acknowledge that we are not alone in our struggles and there is no fault in asking for help.

Overall, making self-care a priority is crucial for maintaining personal balance and preventing burnout. By prioritizing Semantic NLP variation of ourselves, we can ensure long-term physical and emotional health.

Why make new mistakes when there are so many old ones to learn from?

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to distinguishing between ‘Ourself’ and ‘Ourselves’, common errors occur. These mistakes can be avoided by knowing the difference.

  • One common mistake is using ‘Ourself’ instead of ‘Ourselves’ in a plural form where the subject is more than one person.
  • Another mistake is using ‘Ourselves’ in a singular form, which will sound awkward and grammatically incorrect.
  • Lastly, ensure to use “ourselves” when referring to reflexive or reciprocal pronouns in compound subjects or objects.
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It’s essential to note that using either term correctly takes practice and attention to detail. Avoid these mistakes for better writing.

In addition, it’s important to understand the proper context of each term’s use. It impacts how well your writing resonates with the reader. One should also avoid blindly following the grammar rules but instead strive for clarity and precision.

You can prevent these mistakes by keeping track of your sentence structure, getting feedback from friends or colleagues, or hiring an editor. This way, your writing won’t distract from an important message you’re trying to convey.

Finally, accurate usage improves the readability of any written work while ensuring clarity. By making these simple corrections, your writing will appear more polished and professional!

Proper pronoun use: the difference between “I helped her dress” and “I helped myself to her dress.”

Conclusion: Importance of Proper Pronoun Use

Proper Pronoun Use – An Essential Business Language Requirement

Using the right pronouns is a crucial aspect of effective communication. The importance of proper pronoun use cannot be understated, particularly in professional settings. Incorrect usage can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication. In business communication, using the wrong pronouns can result in reputational damage, legal implications, and lost productivity.

Pronouns have different forms that convey number, gender, person, and case. Singular personal pronouns refer to one person or thing while plural personal pronouns refer to multiple people or things. Personal possessive pronouns indicate ownership. Reflexive pronouns reflect back to the noun responsible for the action.

It is essential to exercise caution while using personal gender pronouns like he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/their because people readily identify with their gender identity and may feel offended if addressed incorrectly.

Effective communication hinges on using correct grammatical forms while catering to sensitivities surrounding multiple identities within an organization. By practicing proper pronoun use as part of your daily routine, you can promote inclusivity among peers at work.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between "ourself" and "ourselves"?

"Ourself" is a reflexive pronoun that refers to a single person, while "ourselves" is a reflexive pronoun that refers to a group of two or more people.

2. When should I use "ourself" instead of "ourselves"?

You should only use "ourself" if you are referring to a single person. For example, "I managed to entertain myself" would use "myself" instead of "ourselves".

3. Is "ourself" a correct English word?

While "ourself" may be considered archaic or non-standard in standard English, it is still found in some dialects and forms of English, including some African and Caribbean varieties.

4. Can "ourself" be used in formal writing?

It is generally recommended to avoid using "ourself" in formal writing situations, as it may be considered non-standard or informal. Instead, use "myself" for singular reflexive pronouns and "ourselves" for plural reflexive pronouns.

5. Are there other reflexive pronouns that can be used instead of "ourself" or "ourselves"?

Yes, there are several other reflexive pronouns that can be used, including "himself" for one male, "herself" for one female, and "themselves" for groups of two or more people of any gender.

6. How can I remember when to use "ourself" or "ourselves"?

Remember that "ourself" is used when referring to a single person, while "ourselves" is used when referring to two or more people. You can also try replacing the reflexive pronoun with "myself" or "themselves" to test if it is being used correctly.

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