1. I would like to look for it myself.

  2. I would like to look for it by myself.

What is the difference between the two sentences above?

  • 2
    In some contexts including by wouldn't affect the meaning. In others, plain myself might be simply emphatic (although other people might have seen it, I won't believe it until I've seen it with my own eyes). Including by would normally imply I want to look at it in private (with nobody else around at the time). May 22, 2019 at 13:58
  • Thus John did it himself implies that although you might have expected someone else to do it, it was actually John who did it. But John did it by himself implies John did it alone (usually, without anyone else helping; sometimes with no-one else around). May 22, 2019 at 14:05
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Difference between myself and by myself May 22, 2019 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


Doing something "myself" indicated that I am the one doing it, in contrast with having someone else do it. "I know you said you couldn't find it, but I would like to look for it myself."

On the other hand, doing something "by myself" emphasizes that I am doing it alone, which can mean that no one is assisting me ("Please don't help. I would like to look for it by myself.") or that no other people are present ("Please leave the room. I would like to look for it by myself.").

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