Why don't we say "I have my room" to mean "I have my own room" or "I have a room to myself"? Grammar-wise, why is the first sentence incorrect when I want to say that I do not share my room with my siblings?

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    In English, we use the phrase my own to signify that possession is not shared with another. Why do we do this? Because that is how we express the thought in English. It's not "incorrect" to say "my room" instead, but you will not be understood by any native English speaker. Jul 6, 2017 at 9:19
  • Thank you P.E. Dant. I learned English in the US when I was small living there, but many people in Japan learn English at school where the focus is on grammar. I can tell when a sentence doesn't sound right but I am unable to explain why so I thought I'd ask a native English speaker. I thought "I have my room" alone does not sound right and it needs other words to follow in order to make sense.. i.e. I have my room to redecorate. I have my room upstairs. I have my room ready. I have my room done in blue, etc.
    – chigusa
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


Own or to myself when used like your examples specifically means you are not sharing something, or not expecting it to be shared.

My simply means something belongs to you or is strongly associated with you.

So when you want to express both concepts together, my own, etc. can be used.

  • Thank you LawrenceC. I will forward your answer to my friend who's teaching English who asked me this question.
    – chigusa
    Jul 6, 2017 at 16:04

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