Hello, teachers!
Can I use 'for oneself' as the meaning of 'without other's help'? Or do I have to use 'by oneself' or 'oneself'?
* example sentences:
1. You should judge for yourself.
2. What's the topic in the paper this morning? / [Handing over the paper] See for yourself.
3. I solved the problem for myself.
4. I figured it out for myself.
Thank you very much.
Best Regards.

Last edited {1}
Original Post
"By oneself" and "oneself" do express the meaning of "without other's help." However, "for oneself" gives the meaning of "for one's own benefit" and in some collocations is used instead of "by oneself" or just "oneself."

Your sentences 1. and 2. exemplify two of these instances: "judge for yourself" and "see for yourself." These sentences really mean "for your own benefit," NOT "without other's help." Neither "judge" nor "see" would normally appear with "by oneself" or with "oneself" alone.

Sentences 3 and 4 are different. Both these sentences emphasize that I did the action alone, without help, and that actually, doing it without help was more than could have been expected.

"I solved the problem by myself/ myself" could NOT also or alternatively be "I solved the problem for myself, which would indicate you solved the problem for your own benefit. If, indeed, you wanted to say that you solved the problem for your own benefit, you would reword the sentence to a passage such as: "I solved the problem (myself/ by myself) for my own benefit. I'm not interested in sharing the solution of this problem with anyone else."

The same with "I figured it out for myself." You probably want to say that you figured it out without any help from anyone else; in this case: I figured it out myself/ by myself." However, if you should wish to indicate that it was for your own benefit, say "I figured it out (myself/ by myself)for my own benefit and I'm not interested in sharing the solution of this problem with anyone else."


Last edited {1}
Sentence 4 could also mean "I figured it out in terms of my own case." This would be the meaning in situations where one can use one's own data in a formula and get an answer applicable to that person alone. One could say this after figuring out one's body-mass index, the amount of one's paycheck after a general raise, or one's income tax under a new set of laws--results that would apply only to that individual.

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