Expressing 'myself, etc...' with stress pronouns and 'même'

In French, to emphasise a person's involvement in an action (myself, yourself...), you will use:

moi/toi/lui/elle/soi/nous/vous/eux/elles même/s

Look at these examples:

Moi-même, je pense que c'est juste
I myself think it's fair 

Tu te laves toi-même!
You're washing yourself! (i.e. You do it on your own!)

Il l'a fait lui-même
He did it himself

Nous les avons préparés nous-mêmes !
We made them ourselves!

Vous le dites vous-mêmes !
You say so yourselves!

Ils l'ont dessiné eux-mêmes.
They drew it themselves.

Elles vous accueilleront elles-mêmes.
They will greet you themselves.


Here are the forms: 

moi-même myself
toi-même yourself 
lui-même himself
elle-même herself
soi-même oneself/yourself/ourselves
nous-mêmes ourselves
vous-mêmes yourselves  (plural 'vous' form)
vous-même yourself   (polite and singular 'vous' form)
eux-mêmes themselves (male or mixed group)
elles-mêmes themselves (female group only)
Note that mêmes takes an 's' when in English it's "-selves"


Case of "soi-même

Soi-même is used in general statements and definitions, and is the direct equivalent of oneself.
It is used with the pronoun on (see On = we, one, people) or the impersonal il:

J'ai acheté une armoire à assembler soi-même.
I bought an "assembly required" wardrobe. [Lit: I bought a wardrobe to assemble oneself.]

Il vaut mieux le faire soi-même.
It's better to do it yourself/oneself/ourselves.

On peut assembler les meubles Ikéa soi-même !
One can assemble Ikea furniture oneself!

Dans ce cas, on est soi-même responsable.
In this case, we're responsible ourselves.
In this case, one is responsible oneself.


See also Même can mean "same", "itself", "very", "exact" and "precise" as an adjective, and "even" as an adverb

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elles vous accueilleront elles-mêmes.
They will greet you themselves.


Moi-même, je pense que c'est juste
I myself think it's fair 


Dans ce cas, on est soi-même responsable.
In this case, we're responsible ourselves.
In this case, one is responsible oneself.


Nous les avons préparés nous-mêmes !
We made them ourselves!


Tu te laves toi-même!
You're washing yourself! (i.e. You do it on your own!)


J'ai acheté une armoire à assembler soi-même.
I bought an "assembly required" wardrobe. [Lit: I bought a wardrobe to assemble oneself.]


On peut assembler les meubles Ikéa soi-même !
One can assemble Ikea furniture oneself!


Il vaut mieux le faire soi-même.
It's better to do it yourself/oneself/ourselves.


Ils l'ont dessiné eux-mêmes.
They drew it themselves.


Vous le dites vous-mêmes !
You say so yourselves!


Il l'a fait lui-même
He did it himself


Q&A Forum 8 questions, 20 answers

The use of vaut?

Whilst not directly on this subject but is anyone able to explain the use of "vaut" from the example. Il vaut mieux le faire soi même. 

Asked 11 hours ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Kris,

It is the verb 'valoir' which meant to be worth something and you can use in the  literal way to mean the worth/the price :

Ce bureau vaut 125 € This desk is worth €125

When used as an impersonal expression with only 'il' or sometimes 'ça' 

followed by 'vaut'it indicates a general comment or a saying/proverb.

Il vaut mieux entendre ça que d'être sourd = (It's) better to hear that than be deaf 

Ça vaut la peine de venir It's worth your while coming

Il vaut mieux le faire soi-même = (It's) better to do it yourself 

Ça ne vaut pas le coup! It's not worth it!

Hope this helps!

The use of vaut?

Whilst not directly on this subject but is anyone able to explain the use of "vaut" from the example. Il vaut mieux le faire soi même. 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

FanA1

why there is no 's' after dessiné?

Ils l'ont dessiné eux-mêmes.

why not:

Ils l'ont dessinés eux-mêmes.

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Fan,

 Here, 'le' represents the object they drew themselves which is 'it' in this case in English so it is singular, nothing to do with the subject which is plural.

Hope this helps!

why there is no 's' after dessiné?

Ils l'ont dessiné eux-mêmes.

why not:

Ils l'ont dessinés eux-mêmes.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

If vous is referring to a single person, is it vous-même rather than vous-mêmes?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Jerry,

It would be vous-meme. ( sorry my circonflex accent does not work this morning!)

 

 

Merci!

If vous is referring to a single person, is it vous-même rather than vous-mêmes?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Sometimes French just uses moi, not moi-même. What about that?

Take this sentence: " Je veux bien le garder pour moi... " instead of, moi-même. I saw this in a French game.
Asked 1 year ago

In my understanding, adding -même emphasises the "self" aspect even more.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Come to think of it, there are cases where you need to add -même:

Il a fait ça lui-même. -- He did it himself.

You couldn't say this sentence without the -même.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Sometimes French just uses moi, not moi-même. What about that?

Take this sentence: " Je veux bien le garder pour moi... " instead of, moi-même. I saw this in a French game.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

DamienB1

Préparés

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Damien,

you are correct in that the past participle does not match the COD in the case of avoir

BUT (and there always is a but!)

except for the case when the COD precedes the particple, in which case it IS matched. Let's look at your example:

Nous les avons préparés. --"les" is the COD and precedes the participle ("préparés"). Since "les" is plural (and apparently not all female), the participle needs to take this into account --> "preparés".

-- Chris (not a anative speaker).

AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Damien and Chris !

Here is the link to our lesson on past participle agreement with the direct object pronoun with auxiliary avoir :

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/special-cases-when-the-past-participle-agrees-in-number-and-gender-when-used-with-avoir-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

Bonne journée ! 

DamienB1
nous les avons préparés. Why not préparé? i thought past participle did not change to match subject when avoir is auxiliary.
DamienB1
thanks Chris, very interesting. By the way, what does COD stand for? i would have called "les" a direct object pronoun. 

COD = Complément d'objet direct.

Yes, "direct object pronoun" is exactly what COD means.

-- Chris.

Damien asked:View original

Préparés

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Case of "soi-même"

Is the use of même optional in the examples given using soi-même?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

No, you need "même".

Moi-même
Toi-même
Lui-même/elle-même

Soi-même

Nous-mêmes
Vous-même/vous-mêmes
Eux mêmes/elles-mêmes

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Sorry, a mistake: it is, of course, eux-mêmes and NOT ils-mêmes, because you need the stress pronoun. Sorry for that, -- Chris.

Case of "soi-même"

Is the use of même optional in the examples given using soi-même?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

RodC1

Tu ne peux t'en prendre qu'à toi-même

Asked 1 year ago
RodC1
I’m lost as to how this means You can only blame yourself. I get the Tu ne peux ....que part, meaning You can only, but can you help me with the t’en prendre part? Thanks!
GruffKwiziq language super star
Hi Rod, the expression "s'en prendre à [quelqu'un]" is actually quite close in structure and sense as "to take it out on " but it can also mean to blame someone. Hope that helps!
RodC1
Yes it does. Thanks Gruff!
RonC1
Merci Gruff pour votre réponse. I have not seen this locution previously. The words/phrases that I learned are: reprocher être responsable, i.e. tu es responsable. . . attribuer à quelqu'un la responsabilité de qch Is the phrase «s'en prendre à» an idiomatique phrase? Bonne journée
Rod/Ron: J'ai eu le même question moi-même. Je pense qu'on pourrait écrire Je ne peux m'en prendre à moi-même. J'aimerais aussi savoir que la phrase soit une phrase idiomatique. C'est très interessante.
Just to complement the answer: French is a pretty idiomatic language, meaning that it relies heavily on the specific meaning of idioms. Of those there are many using "en". You can't literally translate them. Just learn them by heart and start using them. You'll see they work very nicely in everyday speech. J'en ai marre = I am sick of it. Tu m'en veux = You are mad at me. Il s'en va = He is leaving. Je m'en fiche = I don't care. There are many more (also using "y"), of which your example is only one among many. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Tu ne peux t'en prendre qu'à toi-même

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

I am a bit confused, how do you use soi-même? Thanks.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Janice, The French pronoun soi is for impersonal constructions, so you use it with another impersonal word such as on. For example, On doit le faire soi-même = One has to do it oneself Compare that to Tu dois le faire toi-même = You have to do it yourself.

I am a bit confused, how do you use soi-même? Thanks.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Let me take a look at that...