Russian Reflexive Personal Pronouns Свой, Себя & Сам Declension Table

Corrections welcome - and desired. I want this to be right.

(For Non-Reflexive Possessive Personal Pronouns, see:
For Personal Pronouns, see: )

Reflexive possessive pronoun “Свой”

The Russian pronoun “Свой” means “one’s own”. It replaces the normal possessive pronoun when it refers to the subject. Example “Ivan loves his (own) dog (Иван любит свою собаку)”. Unlike English, in Russian the reflexive is required in the 3rd person. If you were to use the normal possessive pronoun it would indicate the dog belongs to someone else. It is optional in the 1st and 2nd person but normally used if the subject is “Ты”.

Case Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nom. Свой Своё Своя Свои
Acc. (inan.) Свой Своё Свою Свои
Acc. (anim.) Своего Своё Свою Своих
Gen. Своего Своего Своей Своих
Dat. Своему Своему Своей Своим
Inst. Своим Своим Своей* Своими
Prep. Своём Своём Своей Своих

Notes on Russian Reflexive Pronouns “Себя” The Russian pronoun “Себя” means self. It is used when the pronoun is the same person or thing as the subject. Example “He talked about himself (Он говорил о себе)”. Himself is a reflexive pronoun. The Reflexive Pronoun does not change for gender or number, only case.

English: Myself, himself, herself

Case Pronoun
Nom. ----
Acc. Себя
Gen. Себя
Dat. Себе
Inst. собой*
Prep.l Себе

* There are Instrumental forms which end in "-ю" instead of -й which are either dated, poetic, or dialectal. To see a table containing these forms, open the personal pronoun declension table found under a discussion of Себя at: You must open the declension table by clicking on it at the website found at this link.

The Russian pronoun "Сам"
Сам is the emphatic definite pronoun. Russians use it to emphasize the subject which is performing an action. Сам changes in gender, number and cases as follows:

Case Masc. Neut. Fem. Plural
Nom. Сам Само Сама Сами
Acc. (Inan.) Сам Само Саму Сами
Acc. (Anim.) Самого Само Саму Самих
Gen. Самого Самого Самой Самих
Dat. Самому Самому Самой Самим
Inst. Самим Самим Самой Самими
Prep. Самом Самом Самой Самих

Ты сам по́нял, что сказа́л?
“Did you understand yourself what you said?”erstand yourself what you said?”

December 10, 2018


[deactivated user]

    Thank you so much! This was very helpful, and I think you got it all correct!

    December 11, 2018

    Added to the very useful list of resources. Big thanks for making these helpful posts!

    December 12, 2018

    Instrumental Себой

    Так неправильно. Должно быть «Собой»

    December 11, 2018

    Thank you for the correction. I have altered the table to change the entry, after verifying it at

    If you have any further corrections, please let me know.

    It would help a great deal in the future if you could provide a link to any source materials, to assist me and others in getting these things correct to begin with.

    December 11, 2018

    if you could provide a link to any source materials

    Прости, брат. Если бы ты про турецкий спросил, я бы что-нибудь дал, потому что учу его, а на русском я только разговариваю))

    December 11, 2018

    OK. I still value the input, so don't be reluctant to send me corrections on anything else. It's nice to have resource materials, but not a necessity - as long as you seem to know what you're talking about, which you do. :-)

    January 20, 2019


    January 21, 2019

    Also "свой" means friend. Like "A friend among foes, a foe among friends / his own (men)". It's like you have someone new in company and you are telling your friends, that "it's fine he is one of us" - он свой"

    December 11, 2018

    You will confuse the foreigners. "Свой" main meaning - belonging to someone or something. "ОН свой" means belonging to " our circle", our group.
    it is not synonymous with "друг" (friend)

    December 11, 2018

    right. my mistake. it's just had a hard day to explain it right way.

    December 12, 2018

    It's best in situations where you make a mistake or need to add to or change your post to either delete it entirely or edit it to reflect the needed changes.

    I usually just delete my mistakes. It helps keep the thread from getting too cluttered.

    December 24, 2018


    December 12, 2018
    Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.