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"I didn't have the phone to myself yesterday"

Is that a correct sentence and a way of telling someone that your phone was not with you yesterday and that is why you couldn't reply

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To have something "to yourself" means to have it for your exclusive use.

"I did not have the beach to myself - there were several other people on it".

The example sentence you give means that you were sharing your phone with other people.

It is normal and correct to say

I did not have my phone with me.

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I think "I did not have the phone with me yesterday " is very simple and grammatical.

I did not have the phone to myself sounds ungrammatical and odd to me

  • @Fumble Fingers. I would like to know whether" I did not have the phone with me yesterday " is Right or wrong. – Englishmonger Aug 30 at 5:41
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The sentence is not necessarily wrong. In the days when people did not carry telephones around with them all the time, it was quite common for a single phone to be shared by numerous people. In those circumstances, it would be a very reasonable explanation of not being able to receive a call (possibly of a very private nature) that one 'did not have the phone to [oneself]'.

If the sentence referred to a time in the 1950s, say, it would be fine (if the intended meaning was as I have indicated).

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