Is there any difference between these two sentences?
a) They feed and dress themselves.
b) They can feed and dress by themselves.
Thanks in advance.
Consider the following:
1. The children feed the cats themselves. (The children, themselves, feed the cats. We don't)
2. The children feed the cats by themselves. (The children don't need our help to feed the cats.)
3. The children eat by themselves. (The children don't need our help to eat or to feed themselves.)
4. The children eat themselves. (The children are autophagous).
Do you understand these sentences?
PS: The addition of "can" makes another change. If you want to know the difference between two sentences, you should keep the difference to one variable - unless you have two actual sentences that you can't tell apart.
I do agree with what is mentioned above. Also you can use feed in these patterns:
To feed a person or animal : Did you feed the dog?
To feed something to a person or animal : We fed the scraps to the pig.
To feed yourself/themselves/herself... : She was too weak to feed herself.
Of course, it's got other uses as well.
You can use
Thank you very much for your explanation. What I wish is another sentence that has the same meaning as this one: 'They feed and dress themselves'. Could they be these ones, 'They feed and dress without any help.' or 'They feed and dress alone'?
Is there a better one?
Last edited by learning54; 06-Apr-2012 at 10:22.
They feed and dress themselves without any help.
They feed and dress themselves on their own.
They feed and dress themselves alone.
"They feed and dress without any help" might elicit the question "Who/what do they feed and dress?"