- I do not have much time to myself.
- I do not have much time for myself.
Do these sentences have different meanings because of the prepositions TO and FOR? If there is, then what?
Thank you for the answers in advance. :)
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From the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: "to myself" means "to not have to share something with anyone else".
The phrase "for myself" is not separately defined in the dictionary. But in the American Heritage dictionary "for" is defined as "Used to indicate the object, aim or purpose of an action or an activity".
"Time for myself" means I am using that time to benefit myself.
"Time to myself" means that I am alone during that time. I may or may not be doing something "for myself" during that time.
They way I understand it, the sentences are fairly similar, but with slight differences in the way that the solitary time might have been used...
I do not have much time to myself. -- I do not have much time on my own, not having to do things for other people.
I do not have much time for myself. -- I do not have much time on my own, where I am free to do things for myself.
I do not have much time by myself. -- I do not have much time on my own, with no implication of things to do for myself or for anybody else.
Just an add: I'd be of the opinion and understanding that you could possibly be with others during time that you have for yourself (this would be to distinguish from time you otherwise obligatorily spend on life's responsibilities). However, time to oneself denotes to me a distance from other people, similar to the brooding quality noted by Teacher KSHuang.
This may easily, however, be idiosyncratic of my dialect.