‘Yourself’ vs ‘Your Self’: Is It One Word or Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on April 10, 2023

Have you seen ‘yourself’ and ‘your self’ written somewhere and wondered what the difference is between the two? Well, we’ll answer that in this article, plus teach you how to pronounce them and use them in a sentence.

Need a quick answer?

Here it is:

  • ‘Yourself’ is a pronoun that means identical one, that is you. It’s a term you use you refer to someone else when talking to someone.
  • ‘Your self’ is incorrect and should not be used.

‘Yourself’ vs. ‘Yourselves’ – Learn English

You’ve learned that the difference between ‘yourself’ and ‘your self’ is that:

  • The former is the correct way to spell the word.
  • The latter is an incorrect variation people tend to use, but you should not use it in your writing if you want to be grammatical and correct.

But what about ‘yourselves’?

  • 'Yourselves’ is the plural form of the word ‘yourself.’
  • You’d use it if you’re referring to people in a group rather than one person.

For example, if you wanted to tell someone to go and take a shower, you might say:

  • ‘Go wash yourself.’

If you’re speaking to a group of people, you’d say:

  • ‘Go wash yourselves.’

In the movie Rudy, there’s a quote that reads:

'In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve  gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.'

In the movie, Just Friends, Chris Brander’s mom tries to help her son by singing the following words outside in their driveway in the dead of winter:

'Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself.'

She sings it in the tune of ‘Be Our Guest,’ a well-known song from the Disney movie, Beauty in the Beast, to try to get her son to...well, be himself.

What’s the Difference Between ‘Yourself’ and ‘Your Self’?

The difference between ‘yourself’ and ‘your self’ is:

  • The former is the only correct one. And you know that it refers to oneself.

If you’re speaking to someone, you might say something like:

‘Fix yourself up. There’s a cute guy over there.’

You’d never say use this word to refer to ‘you.’

‘Your self’ is incorrect and ungrammatical, and you should never spell the word this way.

Definition of ‘Yourself’: What Does ‘Yourself’ Mean?

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘yourself’ is:

  • Identical one, that is you.

It could also mean:

  • Your normal, healthy, or sane condition or self
  • Oneself

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Yourself’

Are you unsure of how to pronounce this word?

Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce ‘yourself’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘Yourself’ in a Sentence 

Now that you know what the word means and how to use it in a sentence, let’s see some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

  • You should use the organization’s money and treat yourself to a nice meal. I’m sure you can write it off since we’ll be discussing business.
  • Time really flies when you’re reading a book on a houseboat by yourself. I had such a great time on vacation alone. It’s really an underrated way to spend time, but I highly recommend it.
  • I thought you said you were treating yourself to make this your happiest birthday. I was going to go with you, but if you’re not going, I guess we can always plan something else.
  • Why would you call yourself a fox in the hen house? Unless you’re planning on exploiting these poor people. If that’s the case, I can’t be a part of it.
  • You really stuffed yourself with empanadas. You should be feeling sick as a dog right now. I could swear you ate more than 50!
  • My cousin tried to tell me to stay away from a girl I had just met. She said she’s into some really crazy stuff, telling me, ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’ I told her, ‘Just worry about yourself.’
  • You should try to keep yourself looking good at all times. You never know who you’re going to see when you walk out of the house. I’d never leave the house looking unkempt.
  • I don’t know how you keep yourself so thin. Food is my enemy. My weight has been fluctuating since high school. I don’t know what to do about it.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Yourself’ and ‘Your Self’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • ‘Yourself’ is a pronoun that means identical one, that is you. It’s a term you use you refer to someone else when talking to someone.
  • ‘Your self’ is incorrect and should not be used.

If you ever get stuck on anything, feel free to come back to review what you learned. We’ve also got a ton of other content on other confusing words you might encounter while learning the language. Feel free to come back whenever you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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