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Dylan fell down. He said, "You pushed me."

Arron said,

"I didn't. You fell down by yourself."

"I didn't. You fell down yourself."

Is "by" necessary after verb? Can we omit it?

2 Answers 2

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I didn't. You fell down by yourself.

by indicates responsibility. It was your own fault you fell down.

I didn't. You fell down yourself.

This is rather unnatural, however yourself just emphasizes you. It might imply responsibility but does not place it.

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  • responsibility was the word I missed! Otherwise, I was to write this answer! +1
    – Maulik V
    Sep 8, 2017 at 6:20
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You fell down by yourself implies that you fell down alone, without anyone around.
You fell down yourself implies that you fell down by your fault and no one else's.
So, in this case, it is more natural to say

"I didn't. You fell down yourself."

even though the sentence is still correct with "by," and people will still probably understand what you mean.
There are other cases where it is equally acceptable to omit "by" or leave it in.

"I got up here by myself"

will always mean the same as

"I got up here myself"

unless the context of the statement implies otherwise.

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