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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

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


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


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


Q&A

CrystalMaiden

Kwiziq community member

21 April 2018

2 replies

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.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 April 2018

21/04/18

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


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 April 2018

27/04/18

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).

Damien

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2018

5 replies

Préparés

Damien

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2018

27/03/18

nous les avons préparés. Why not préparé? i thought past participle did not change to match subject when avoir is auxiliary.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2018

27/03/18

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).

Damien

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2018

27/03/18

thanks Chris, very interesting. By the way, what does COD stand for? i would have called "les" a direct object pronoun. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2018

27/03/18

COD = Complément d'objet direct.


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


-- Chris.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

27 March 2018

27/03/18

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 ! 

Paul

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

2 replies

Case of "soi-même"

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

No, you need "même".

Moi-même
Toi-même
Lui-même/elle-même
Nous-mêmes
Vous-même/vous-mêmes
Ils-mêmes/elles-mêmes

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

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

Sorry for that, -- Chris.

Rod

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2017

6 replies

Tu ne peux t'en prendre qu'à toi-même

Rod

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2017

7/10/17

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!

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

7 October 2017

7/10/17

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!

Rod

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2017

7/10/17

Yes it does. Thanks Gruff!

Ron

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2017

7/10/17

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

Donald

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017

10/10/17

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.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

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).

Janice

Kwiziq community member

7 March 2016

1 reply

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

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

7 March 2016

7/03/16

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.

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