"Partly, I think it's my fault that Peter and Andy got into an argument."

"A part of me thinks it's my fault Peter and Andy got into an argument."

Do these sentences have the same meaning or rather can they be seen as synonyms or do they have a different meaning?

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    They are not the same. In the first sentence you might be sharing the blame, although it is not very clear what 'partly' refers to. In the second you wonder whether the entire blame is on you, or none of it, but are undecided. Apr 22, 2020 at 18:09
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    They could mean the same thing, but they normally don't. Generally, if you say, "Partly, it's my fault," you mean that it's partially your fault. You don't mean that part of you thinks it's your fault. (However, it's theoretically possible to interpret it in that unusual way, at least in the right context—such as if you are used to talking about different parts of yourself.) Apr 22, 2020 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


Short answer: No, they are not synonymous.

If you think you are partly to blame, then you think or suspect that there is enough blame for everyone involved, perhaps including Peter and Andy, and that others may share the blame with you.

Depending on what share you think you or they deserve, you might say:

  • Partly
    • A small amount; less than a majority of the blame/fault
  • Largely
    • A large amount; a majority of the blame/fault
  • Entirely
    • The complete amount of blame; all the blame/fault

If you say a part of you thinks you are to blame, it indicates that you are not certain that you are to blame, either partially or entirely. You are of two minds: you are undecided, or have two different opinions and can't choose between them:

  1. I was at least partly to blame for the argument; I did something that caused it.
  2. I was not to blame for the argument; whatever I did, it was nothing to cause it, or someone else did something that caused it.

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