Slip-ups (Nonexistent words in English 1)
Often in English, we come across words and expressions which are clearly coined by their users, as those words and expressions do not exist in the language at all.
Some of those nonexistent words are used in the following sentences:
- We did all the hard work ourself.
- We prepared ourselve for the long journey.
- We shouldn't give the boys any help; they must do the work themself/themselve.
- This one is for me; the other one is your's/yours'.
- We know the ball is their's/theirs', but we want to borrow it for today.
- Now adays, people get angry so easily.
- Atimes, they have no reason to be angry at all.
The words ourself, ourselve, themself, themselve, your's, yours', their's, theirs', now adays and atimes don't exist in English.
People who use them do so out of the assumption that there are other words which are like these words.
For instance, there are the words myself, himself, herself and yourself and so some people think there must also be ourself and themself.
What they don't know is that myself, himself, herself and yourself refer to single persons, but the pronouns our and them, which form the root of the reflexive pronouns ourselves and themselves, are plural and, therefore, they cannot form the singular reflexive pronouns ourself and themself.
(To be continued)