Why do you use own in sentence like this? Isn't it useless? Or it just seems right to you naturally?

depend on your own sense of style
depend on your sense of style

your money
your own money

2 Answers 2


Yes, that sentence and that phrase mean more or less the same with or without own. However, that doe not mean that own is useless!

There is a difference in emphasis, and therefore in connotation between your two options.

If I want to tell someone to depend on their style, instead of, say their money, or their education, I could tell them

Depend on your style! (Not on something else!)

If I want to tell them to depend on their own style instead of letting their style be dictated by others, I would say:

Depend on your own style! (Not on someone else's!)

In that same way, if I want to tell someone to use their money to get something, instead of stealing it, I could say:

Use your money to buy that! (Don't steal it!)

If I want to emphasize they should use their own money instead of, for instance, getting money from their parents, I'd say:

Use your own money to buy that! (Instead of using someone else's!)


To me, both of those sentences have the exact same meaning and both sound natural.

It's just another one of countless examples of "optional words" in English. Usage depends on personal preference and regional differences.

That being said, you may be using depend incorrectly, but that depends on the missing part of these sentence fragments.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .