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‘Yourself’ vs. ‘Your Self’: What’s the Difference?

Shaun Connell
February 27, 2024

If you want to know the difference between 'yourself' vs. 'your self,' you came to the right place!

Here is a brief explanation in case you are in a hurry: 

  • 'Yourself' is a pronoun that means you and only you. 
  • 'Your self' is a phrase containing the adjective your and the noun self, used to reference someone's character or primary condition.

If you are still confused, you aren't alone. It can be challenging to determine which option to use. Don't worry, though. I explain everything in this guide. So, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between 'Yourself' vs. 'Your Self?'

'Yourself' and 'your self' are both grammatically correct when you use them in the correct context.

  • 'Yourself' is a pronoun. It is used to refer to an individual person.
  • 'Your self,' on the other hand, refers to a person's character, behavior, or the combination of those elements that make someone who they are temporarily or permanently.

Definition of 'Yourself': What Does 'Yourself' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists 'yourself' as a pronoun defined as:

  • Oneself
  • Your typical, usual, sane, or healthy self

It is used:

  • Reflectively, to say the one that is you
  • For emphasis
  • In absolute constructions

Definition of 'Your Self': What Does 'Your Self' Mean?

To understand the meaning of 'your self,' we need to look at the definitions of your and self.

Definition of 'Your'

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'your' is defined as an adjective that means:

  • Relating to you, yourself, or yourselves
  • Object(s) of an action
  • Relating to or of one or oneself

It is also used:

  • As an equivalent to the definite article the, with little to no meaning

Definition of 'Self'

The same defines 'self' as:

  • A person's usual behavior or character
  • A person's temporary behavior or character
  • A person's prime condition
  • The elements that make up the identity and individuality of a person
  • Personal advantage or interest
  • The entirety of a person
  • The embodiment or realization of an abstraction
  • Part of an individual organism

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Yourself' vs. 'Your Self'

When it comes to pronouncing 'yourself' or 'your self,' you must pay attention to the pause between the words. That can be confusing to some people.

So, here is a pronunciation guide you can reference. 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'yourself':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'your self':

yur self

Writing Tips: When and How to Use 'Yourself' vs. 'Your Self'

When writing professionally, knowing how to use 'yourself' and 'your self' correctly is important. So, here are some tips for when and how to use each.

  • Use 'yourself' to refer to someone individually.

As an example, you can say:

You need to do things for yourself.

  • Use 'your self' to speak about someone's character or behavior.

So, I might say:

You should work on your self-confidence. It would help you improve your 

  • Use 'your self' when self is followed by a hyphenated word.

For example, you could write:

Your self-loathing doesn't just affect you. It also impacts everyone with whom you have a relationship. 

  • Use an adjective between your and self to show that you are talking about the behaviors of your innate self.

So, you can say:

Your special self is amazing and like no other. 

Sample Sentences Using

Now, take a look at the sample sentences below. They will help you remember when to use 'yourself' vs. 'your self.'


  • As a writer, you have to motivate yourself to write.
  • If you want to write a self-published memoir or autobiography, you will have to reveal some sensitive details about yourself.
  • I hope you can do the rest of the work yourself before the deadline because I am not contributing anything else.
  • If no one else will help, do it yourself.
  • I refuse to give you a handout if you can support yourself because I love you and do not want to enable you not to reach your full potential.
  • If you plan to market yourself to reputable publications, you need an impressive writer's portfolio.

Your Self

  • Your self-motivation is critical to your career success as a best-selling author.
  • Your self is unique and unlike anyone else's. Therefore it should be celebrated.
  • Getting to know your self-identity is important, but it is often not as easy as people think.
  • Your self is unique and unlike any other.
  • Life and obligations may interfere with your learning or nurturing your true self.
  • You can write an interesting low-content book about how to get in touch with your unique self.
  • Learning the typical characteristics or behaviors of your self is a rewarding experience.

Yourself/Your Self

  • Improving your self-worth will benefit all aspects of your life. It is important to love yourself.
  • It shouldn't take ninety years to know yourself, but it could take much longer to learn the true nature of your self.
  • If your self is flawed, you should work on yourself.

Final Look at the Difference Between 'Yourself' vs. 'Your Self'

Finally, let's review what you learned about the difference between 'yourself' vs. 'your self': 

  • 'Yourself' is an English pronoun defined as you and only you. 
  • 'Your self' is a term containing the adjective your and the noun self
  • 'Your Self' is used to refer to someone's character or their primary state or condition.

Knowing how and when to use terms like these can be extremely challenging to beginning writers and those who have been freelancing for many years. However, experienced professionals know the importance of verifying the accuracy of the terms they use.

That is why, as a writer, you should always take the time to research phrases you are unfamiliar with or unsure how to use.

Luckily, you can use this site as a resource. Dozens of posts here will help you sharpen your grammar and writing skills.

Plus, we have many guides to help you create your first writing portfolio, pitch your first article, and land high-paying, interesting gigs.

So, be sure to read a few more before you go and come back often to learn the latest on industry changes and best practices.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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