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oneself He uses about 30 languages himself. (It's a sentence from an article from BBC). I don't know why "himself" is positioned at the end of the sentence. I can understand what the author want to say, I think it is grammatically weird. We shouldn't able to write "use + subject + someone". Can I use a type of words "oneself" at the end of every sentence?
Feb 2, 2016 6:23 AM
Answers · 4
You can't use this structure in every sentence. "He uses about 30 languages himself." is stressing the subject "He". It is used for emphasis. The previous sentence might be something along the lines of "I use 2 languages" but HE uses 30 languages. Okay, I found the actual article. "He leads a team of polyglots at a company called eModeration" So he's the leader, right? And he is not the leader for no reason. HE also can speak 30 languages! Structure-wise, both "he himself ...." and "he .... himself" are correct. Example: "He is not from here." "How about yourself?" "I myself am not from here, either/ I am not from here myself, either." I hope that made sense to you.
February 2, 2016
Thank you:) I will try to use this expression on my writing as additional information.
February 2, 2016
The "himself" at the end of this sentence is correct. You need to look at the whole sentence tho: "One of the most proficient linguists I meet here, Richard Simcott, leads a team of polyglots at a company called eModeration – and he uses about 30 languages himself." The meaning here is that he leads a team of polyglots (people speaking many languages), but that doesn't tell us if he himself can speak many languages (see, here, I used 'himself', but it's not at the end of the sentence), we need the extra precision. If you remove the "himself", the sentence becomes weird as the "and he uses about 30 languages." would seem like some additional, unrelated information. So, the "himself" in this particular sentence means "as for he (Richard), he uses about 30 languages". Repeating "he" twice would be weird, so that's how one way to see how the "he ~ himself" came about. A simpler way to look at it is that this structure add some emphasis on the subject. This isn't a grammar explanation, I'm not sure what is the name of that particular usage of reflexive pronouns (himself, oneself, etc.), I'm sure linguist here will provide more details, but it's a very common construct in English. You should try to look for other exemples to get a better feel for it :)
February 2, 2016
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