The following sentences randomly crossed my mind and I would like to know if there is any difference in meaning.

I wash my own clothes.

I wash clothes on my own.

As far as I am concerned, 'own' in the former sentence aims to emphasize that it is the clothes washed are mine not someone else's. As for the latter, it can mean I also wash my parents' clothes and 'on my own' here implies that I don't get help from anyone. I also assume the phrase tells that the clothes are hand-washed.

Am I correct?

So what about the following.

I wash my (own) clothes on my own.

  • Yes, you are correct (although it doesn't necessarily mean that you hand-wash the clothes). You wouldn't normally use 'own' twice in the last sentence, unless you were emphasising very strongly that you didn't want any help or anyone else's clothes mixed in with yours! Oct 4, 2020 at 8:09
  • Yes, you are correct. All three sentences convey different meaning. 1) Implies others may also wash the clothes, including other's clothes; however, you separate your laundry, and wash your own clothes. 2) Implies you not only wash your clothes, but everyone else's as well, just choose to do this chore on your own. 3) Last, implies it's only your own clothes you wash, and you wash them alone by yourself.
    – Steve B053
    May 27, 2021 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are correct.

As for the last sentence, you could say that, but I’d avoid overusing the word “own”, and would add a bit more colour to the sentence by saying:

I wash my own clothes by myself.

There would sort of be an implication in this that you also wash other people’s clothes but don’t do this alone, otherwise you’d just say:

I wash my clothes on my own/by myself.

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