'Relax' or 'Relax Oneself'? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 15 June 2023)

Part 2

1. The continuous form ('are having') is unacceptable. Have is a non-continuous verb when it means 'to possess' or 'to own':

I have a car.
I am having a car.

Sam has twenty dollars.
Sam is having twenty dollars.

Susan has lots of friends.
Susan is having lots of friends.

Do you have a calculator?
Are you having a calculator?

Anna has a pleasant personality.
Anna is having a pleasant personality.

Have can be continuous only when it expresses an action or an experience:

We are having pizza for lunch.
They are having a meeting now.
I'm having so much fun right now.
Tom was having dinner when I called.
Susan was having nightmares for many weeks after the accident.

2. We can relax our muscles, but we don't 'relax ourselves'—the verb has no object in that case:

Just sit down and try to relax.
Just sit down and try to relax yourself.

After a hard day at work, I just want to relax.
After a hard day at work, I just want to relax myself.

Chris finished his work and then relaxed in the sun.
Chris finished his work and then relaxed himself in the sun.

Also by the Same Tutor

Part 1: Should We Say 'A Tiger', 'The Tiger', or 'Tigers'?
Part 3: 'Exchange Program' or 'Exchanging Program'?
Part 4: 'Yours sincerely' or 'Yours faithfully'?
Part 5: Should We Say 'Take Bus', 'Take the Bus', or 'Take a Bus'?
Part 6: 'I Afraid' or 'I Am Afraid'?
Part 7: 'Date Someone' or 'Date with Someone'?
Part 8: A Missing Relative Pronoun
Part 9: Are 'Basketball', 'Football', and 'Badminton' Countable or Uncountable?
Part 10: 'Every Time' or 'Every Time When'?
Part 11: Should 'Mum' Be Capitalised? (Read this blog post for a more in-depth discussion of the topic.)
Part 12: 'Grammar' or 'Grammer'?

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