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Hi. My name is Ayuni. One day my colleague asked me, "Which is true, Ourselves or Ourself?" Unfortunately I myself was unable to answer that because when she wrote on Microsoft Word ourself, which I practically used, is wrong (red underline). So I was wondering, which is the true or is it depends on situation? 'Our' is plural, so by right it should be ourselves, but why after all these years, I've been thought to use Ourself? I'll be glad if someone can help me with this confusion.
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I don't know why you ever thought 'ourself' was right. These are the correct reflexive pronouns:

himself, herself, itself


Please memorize them carefully right now so that you never mistake any of them again!
You are right. I was wrong. Thank you! Emotion: smile
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And I forgot to welcome you, Ayuni, sorry.

Welcome to English Forums!

The word our is already talking about more than one. Myself is only talking about one. You would never say myselves! Same as you would never say ourself! Complete opposites! Myself or ourselves. It only makes perfect sense.
Just as they is becoming increasingly accepted as an alternative to he or she, so themself is beginning to appear for this singular they. I recommend that learners do not use it, but you may hear it.

Apparently someone killed themself by jumping off the Paxton Bridge last night. The police haven't found their body yet.
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Which one of my two sentences below does make sense ?
'The biggest enemy of us is ourselves' or
'The biggest enemy of us is ourself'
AnonymousWhich one of my two sentences below does make sense ? 'The biggest enemy of us is ourselves' or 'The biggest enemy of us is ourself'
They both make sense. That is, they are understandable. Nevertheless, to rephrase them without grammatical mistakes you would do well to write Our biggest enemy is ourselves or We are our (own) [biggest / worst] enemy.

This is very well explained in Oxford Dictionary web site.




  • 1. Used instead of ‘ourselves’ typically when ‘we’ refers to people in general rather than a definite group of people.

    [reflexive] ‘we must choose which aspects of ourself to express to the world’

    [emphatic] ‘this is our affair—we deal with it ourself’

  • 2. archaic Used instead of ‘myself’ by a sovereign or other person in authority.

    ‘witnessed ourself at Southampton this thirteenth day of October’


The standard reflexive form corresponding to we and us is ourselves, as in we can only blame ourselves. The singular form ourself, first recorded in the 14th century, is sometimes used in modern English, typically where ‘we’ refers to people in general. This use, though logical, is uncommon and not widely accepted in standard English
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