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    #1

    self-reliant, solitary, single-handed

    What's the difference between the three words in the title?
    For me, a dictionary wasn't of much help.

    self-reliant: not needing help or support from other people
    single-handed:without any help from anyone else
    solitary: done alone

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    #2

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    #3

    Re: self-reliant, solitary, single-handed

    Thank you 5jj,
    we used the same dictionary and I only left out the example sentences. That doesn't mean that I hadn't looked at them before posting my question. The only thing that I could work out from the example sentences was that there are probably some collocations to each of the words. What I was hoping to get was something more general that I could use to distinguish between the words. I have tried to make some assumptions about the words based on the example sentences.

    self-reliant - suggests taking responsibility for yourself and therefore done alone (you have no one to help you, you do it yourself = you are self-reliant)
    single-handed - suggests harder 'physical' activity done alone
    solitary - could probably suggest nostalgia; the word could also be more likely to be found in literature

    As you can see I have tried to come up with at least something. Could you please correct me and provide me with more general description of the differences?

    Thank you in advance

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    #4

    Re: self-reliant, solitary, single-handed

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    Thank you 5jj,
    we used the same dictionary and I only left out the example sentences. That doesn't mean that I hadn't looked at them before posting my question. The only thing that I could work out from the example sentences was that there are probably some collocations to each of the words. What I was hoping to get was something more general that I could use to distinguish between the words. I have tried to make some assumptions about the words based on the example sentences.

    self-reliant - suggests taking responsibility for yourself and therefore done alone (you have no one to help you, you do it yourself = you are self-reliant) If you are self-reliant you need no one to help you. This is more than "have no one to help you". A self-reliant person may have many people who would help him, but he doesn't ask for, or require the help.
    single-handed - suggests harder 'physical' activity done alone There is no indication of physical labor here. This generally means that something was done by one person. It could be that the act was designing a new computer or a new line of clothing.
    solitary - could probably suggest nostalgia; the word could also be more likely to be found in literature. "solitary" means alone. I do not see any normal connection with nostalgia. A couple of examples "He was the solitary crew member rescued from the accident", "It was his solitary task to bury the others".

    As you can see I have tried to come up with at least something. Could you please correct me and provide me with more general description of the differences?

    Henry was the self-reliant type who single-handedly developed a new way for the solitary man to communicate.

    Thank you in advance
    Gil

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