Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Is 'to himself' necessary?

    John likes to keep quiet (to himself). He rarely speaks to other students.

    Is 'to himself' necessary?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,146
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is 'to himself' necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    John likes to keep quiet (to himself). He rarely speaks to other students.

    Is 'to himself' necessary?

    Thanks.
    We don't say "keep quiet to oneself". You could actually use either phrase but independently.

    He likes to keep quiet. (This suggests he doesn't talk much.)
    He likes to keep to himself. (This suggests he spends a lot of time alone.)

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,993
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is 'to himself' necessary?

    You can also say that he keeps himself to himself.

  4. #4
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is 'to himself' necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You can also say that he keeps himself to himself.
    Thanks, Tdol.

    I've learned a new sentence.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,146
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is 'to himself' necessary?

    You will hear "he kept himself to himself" a lot in one rather disturbing set of circumstances.

    Usually, when someone has gone on a wild killing spree or it's discovered that they've killed loads of people over the years and buried them in the back garden, journalists will interview the killer's neighbours. It's amazing how many times you'll hear "We can't believe it! He seemed like such a normal guy - always kept himself to himself."

    In fact, I'm starting to think that if anyone ever describes someone else to me in that way, I'm going to make a point of staying away from that person just in case!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •