Using the reflexive pronoun “himself” is how we talk about “him” in a reflexive manner. However, you might also come across it in the sense of “he himself.” In this case, we’re using it as an intensifier. In this article, we’ll explain when it’s best to use “he himself.”
Is “He Himself” Grammatically Correct?
“He himself” is grammatically correct. “He” is used as a subject pronoun to talk about a man, while “himself” is used as an intensifier to add emphasis. The phrase “he himself needs this” is used to intensify the fact that “he” really needs “this.”
Many people believe the inclusion of “himself” after the phrase to be redundant. In formal cases, this might be true, and you usually won’t use it often. However, in most cases of casual writing, you can use “he himself” in any way to emphasize the fact that “he” is doing it.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “himself” is “used to emphasize a particular man, boy, or male animal.” That means we use it to add emphasis to the specific person we’re talking about.
What Does “He Himself” Mean?
So, now it’s time to look a little closer at what it means to use “he himself.” To keep things simple, we could just say that “he himself” means the same as just using “he,” but that wouldn’t be the whole truth.
“He himself” is used as an intensifier, making the pronoun (in this case, “he”) more powerful in the sentence. It’s used to stress that “he” is really wanting to do whatever the following clause mentions.
So, the following sentences can be crafted:
- He insisted on helping.
- He himself insisted on helping.
In both of these cases, “he” is the pronoun being used. That means we’re referring to a man who, in this example, “insisted on helping.” However, in the second example, including “himself” right after the pronoun adds an emphasis to it.
It’s the difference between saying:
- He insisted on helping.
- He really insisted that he was the only one who should be helping.
We added a few waffling words to show you just how much of an intensifier “he himself” can be when it’s used correctly in a sentence. Rather than using all of those extra words, simply including the pronoun “himself” adds all of the meaning we could possibly need.
How Do You Use “He Himself” In A Sentence? (Helpful Examples)
We thought it would make sense to go through some examples of seeing “he himself” used in a sentence. There are plenty of examples and variations that we could go through, so we wanted to include as many as possible.
- He himself would like to do the inspection to make sure that everything is up to standard.
- He himself insisted on being the one to do it because apparently, no one else has the ability.
- He mentioned that he himself was the only one capable of achieving this feat.
- Okay, what can you do that he himself can’t already do for us?
- He himself mentioned that this is the only time of day that this will work. I trust him.
- He himself said that you should listen to his advice because he has the most experience.
- He himself doesn’t understand the point of this learning process, and I have to agree with him.
- The President has news to deliver to the country. He himself will be holding a broadcast in five minutes.
- He himself would like to take the meeting because you’ll most likely mess it up.
From these examples, we’ve shown the greater extent of using “he himself” as a phrase. The intensity of the phrase usually means it works best for people who are superior to others.
They believe that their own abilities or skills outweigh the other people when using “he himself” and therefore believe that everyone should do what they’re saying instead. This is one of the more plausible cases where “he himself” is used.
In any case, “he himself” is considered a redundancy and very rarely gets used because of that. You’ll mostly hear it in spoken English rather than see it written in English; however, the option is always there to use it if you think it fits.
Also, it’s possible to use any variation of pronouns to create an intensified phrase, not just “he himself:”
- She herself
- I myself
- They themselves
- We ourselves
All of these phrases are used as intensifiers too.
Synonyms For “He Himself”
It would help to go through some alternative phrases you can use in place of “he himself” or anything similar. That way, you don’t have to worry about using redundant language. You can still intensify your meaning, but these examples are slightly better to use in formal forms.
- He really
Using “really” instead of “himself” or any other reflexive pronoun, in this case, is a great way to stress that somebody really wants to do something or put themselves forward. “He himself wanted to do it” is the same as “he really wanted to do it.”
- He alone
Using “alone” is another great way to single someone out as the most important and most intense part of the sentence. “He alone believes he should do this” is a great example of using this in the intensified form.
Is “She Herself” Grammatically Correct?
There are plenty of other pronoun and intensifier combinations that we’ve briefly covered before, but it’s good to know more about them. The most important question is learning whether they’re grammatically correct to use.
“She herself” is grammatically correct, just like “he himself.” However, the “herself” portion of the phrase is considered a redundancy in many forms of writing and is often omitted.
It comes down to personal preference and the tone you want to convey as to whether these combinations are worth using. If you do plan on using them, they’re all used in the same way as the examples above for “he himself.”
- She herself believes this is the only option, and all the others were stupid.
- I myself think you’re wrong about that, and I value my own opinion.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.