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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 1,099

    let them/themselves in

    I gave them a key to our house so that they could let them / themselves in.

    Personally, I wrote "them" but it was a mistake but I cannot understand why "them" doesn't work in the sentence above.
    Actually, I think both options are correct but they could mean different things. I mean that if we go for "themselves" it's clear for us that the people who I gave the key were able to enter my house. On other hand, if we choose "them", we might think that people who were given the key, could open my door for somebody else. Probably, I'm overthinking it right now but I cannot answer my question adequately.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 44,263

    Re: let them/themselves in

    No, you're not overthinking it. You're right.

    I gave them a key so they could let themselves in = They can use the key to enter the house.
    I gave them a key so they could let them in = They can use the key to let other people in.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.


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