Earlier this week, I posted a tricky ACT English grammar question about reflexive pronouns. If you missed out, try it below and then scroll down for the answer!
ACT Challenge Question 16
Mario Lanza himself claimed Enrico Caruso as his greatest influence and infamously played him on screen, reminding a wider audience that there was nothing incompatible between classical tenors and genuine popularity.
A. NO CHANGE
B. Lanza, himself,
C. Lanza, himself
D. Lanza, himself had
Answer and Explanation
The answer is (A).
In this case, there is no need to set off the pronoun “himself” with commas. In this case, it is acting as what is called an intensifier: “Lanza himself.” So, in a sense, we can assume it is “essential” to the sentence because the author is purposely choosing to use it, so it should not be set off with commas. This is a tricky one, but the ACT has tested it, so good to know!
About Kristin Fracchia
Kristin makes sure Magoosh's blogs are chock-full of awesome, free resources for students preparing for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agonizing bliss of marathon running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.
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