To practice my English, I am trying to explain the word "push" in English

If I push an apple, I move the apple forward and away from myself.

I guess it's a little bit strange to say

... and away from me.

Because the subject of the sentence and the object of "from" are the same person.

With the agreement above, the explanation/definition of "push" on Cambridge Dictionary seems to be a little bit strange

to use physical pressure or force, especially with your hands, in order to move something into a different position, usually one that is farther away from you

Should "yourself" be used there?


The Cambridge Dictionary is correct! You move something away from you.

In your example you mention "the object of from". But the verb here is move. The subject is I and the object is the apple. So the subject and the object are not the same person. (They are not even the same species!)

We say,

I pushed the apple away from me

He pushed it away from him

We pushed them away from us


And we say,

  • He has hurt himself

where the subject and the direct object are the same person


  • She talks to herself and
  • I sent myself a letter

where the subject and the indirect object are the same person.

It is difficult. The rules have exceptions. It might be useful to collect examples of the usage of reflexive pronouns. I think we use "me" much more often than "myself", if that helps!

  • Thank you. For the first example, you would say "I move the apple forward and away from me", right?
    – WXJ96163
    Jun 10 '20 at 4:25
  • Yes. I don't know why you are describing it so precisely, but yes! We would normally just say, I move the apple away from me or I move the apple forward. If you move it forward it MUST be away from you!! Jun 10 '20 at 4:47

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