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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 95
    #1

    keep (yourself) to yourself

    keep (yourself) to yourself
    to not talk to other people very much:
    He's a very private person - he keeps (himself) to himself.
    (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus)

    Do American English speakers say, "... he keeps to himself," and do British English speakers say, "... he keeps himself to himself"?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

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    #2

    Re: keep (yourself) to yourself

    BrE uses both. You will hear "He keeps to himself", "He keeps himself to himself" and even "He keeps very much to himself".

    The most common use (unfortunately) of "He kept himself to himself" is when neighbours are interviewed about someone who has done something terrible (a murder, a terrorist attack etc). News reporters quite frequently interview the person's neighbours to find out some background. Generally, if that person has done nothing to draw attention to himself, lived a quiet life with no reason for his neighbours to have paid much attention to him, they'll tell the reporters things like "He was a pretty quiet guy - kept himself to himself. I can't believe what I'm hearing about what he's done!" (Needless to say, this doesn't apply only to men!)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
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    #3

    Re: keep (yourself) to yourself

    I agree that "He keeps to himself" is probably more common in AmE..

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