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ESL forum > Ask for help > Hi    

Hi



Pretty3
Saudi Arabia

Hi
 
Hi,
 
Can you tell me what the difference is between :
 
She wrote a letter herself.
She wrote a letter by herself.   ??
 
 
Regards,
Pretty

8 Apr 2012      



pilarmham
Spain

I īd say that

She wrote a letter herself means that no one else did it for her.
She wrote a letter by herself means that she was alone when she did it.

8 Apr 2012     



Pretty3
Saudi Arabia

mmmm pilarmham
you mean they have the same meaning ??
 
When no one did it means she was alone when she did it.

8 Apr 2012     



ascincoquinas
Portugal

Hi Pretty!
 
Take a look here. The explanation is quite clear... well, in my opinion:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/herself

8 Apr 2012     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

Here īs what the dictionary has:


Herself

1) used when the woman or girl who performs an action is also affected by it

She hurt herself.

2) 

used to emphasize the female subject or object of a sentence
She told me the news herself.
Jane herself was at the meeting.

(all) by herself

1alone; without anyone elseShe lives by herself.2without helpShe runs the business by herself.

Sophia

8 Apr 2012     



pilarmham
Spain

Well, in the first example maybe she had some company, I bet she was quite bored in the second one. In any case, she did all the work!

8 Apr 2012     



MoodyMoody
United States

"She wrote the letter by herself" can also mean "without help." I can hear a 5-year-old child say, "I did it all by myself," with Mommy standing right there.

8 Apr 2012     



pilarmham
Spain

That īs not fair, MoodyMoody, you are mixing up things!

8 Apr 2012     



Apodo
Australia

I agree with MoodyMoody.
A child can do something by themselves, but it doesn īt mean they are alone. We use this phrase all the time.
 
This is the meaning I would infer from these sentences:
 
She wrote a letter herself. - (1) She didn īt have someone else (eg: a lawyer ) write it for her.
or (2) Several people wrote letters (eg: to the newspaper) and she wrote one also.
 
She wrote a letter by herself. - I would assume this is a child/person writing without assistance.
 
She was by herself when she wrote the letter. - She was alone.

8 Apr 2012     



Pretty3
Saudi Arabia

Thanks a lot all for your help :)

9 Apr 2012