Sé stesso is an Italian reflexive pronoun which translates to 'himself', 'herself', or 'itself' in English. It is used to refer back to the subject of a sentence and emphasize their individuality, identity, or actions.
Meaning: Reflexive pronoun
Maria si guarda nello specchio e si pettina i capelli.
Maria looks at herself in the mirror and combs her hair.
Meaning: Emphatic pronoun
Luca stesso ha preparato la cena per tutti gli ospiti.
Luca himself cooked dinner for all the guests.
Meaning: Intensive pronoun
Il bambino stesso ha aperto il regalo con entusiasmo.
The child himself opened the gift with enthusiasm.
Meaning: Reciprocal pronoun
Io e mio fratello ci aiutiamo sempre a vicenda.
My brother and I always help each other.
A1: Maria si guarda nello specchio.
A1: Maria looks at herself in the mirror.
A1: Luca si lava le mani prima di mangiare.
A1: Luca washes his hands before eating.
A1: Io mi chiamo Marco.
A1: My name is Marco.
B1: Laura si è comprata un nuovo vestito per la festa.
B1: Laura bought herself a new dress for the party.
B2: Roberto si era dimenticato di portare il regalo.
B2: Roberto had forgotten to bring the gift.
B2: Martina si sta preparando per l'esame di domani.
B2: Martina is getting ready for tomorrow's exam.
C1: Gli studenti si sono impegnati molto per ottenere buoni risultati.
C1: The students worked hard to achieve good results.
C1: Il cantante si è esibito davanti a migliaia di persone.
C1: The singer performed in front of thousands of people.
C2: Dopo aver perso il lavoro, Anna ha deciso di reinventarsi completamente.
C2: After losing her job, Anna decided to completely reinvent herself.
In Italian grammar, sé stesso is classified as a third-person singular reflexive pronoun. It is formed by combining the pronoun sé (meaning 'oneself') with the adjective stesso (meaning 'same' or 'self'). The resulting phrase can be translated as 'himself', 'herself', or 'itself' depending on the gender and number of the subject it refers to.
Sé stesso is commonly used in Italian to express self-reliance, autonomy, or self-awareness. For example, one might say 'Maria si conosce bene e si ama per sé stessa' (Maria knows herself well and loves herself for who she is). In this case, sé stesso emphasizes Maria's individuality and her ability to define herself independently from others.
It is worth noting that sé stesso can also be used in a reflexive construction with other pronouns such as noi (we), voi (you), and loro (they). In these cases, the pronoun sé stesso agrees in gender and number with the subject it refers to. For instance, 'noi ci pensiamo da sé stessi' (we think for ourselves) implies that each member of the group thinks independently and takes responsibility for their own thoughts.