Skip to main content

Hello,

I would be most grateful if you could provide me with two or more sentences that would help a learner to see the subtle difference between alone and lone.

After serching through dictionaries it seems to me that alone means without others and lone means solitary, but isn't that the same thing?

Thank you as always.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hi, Mrchuffie,

@Mrchuffie posted:

I would be most grateful if you could provide me with two or more sentences that would help a learner to see the subtle difference between alone and lone.

After searching through dictionaries it seems to me that alone means without others and lone means solitary, but isn't that the same thing?

The main difference is that "lone" is always attributive (i.e. found before the noun) and used only with certain nouns (remember "The Lone Ranger"?), while "alone" is almost always predicative (i.e. found after the verb), except in idiomatic phrases like "alone time" (see this thread). Instead, "lonely," which you don't mention but your students might want to learn, can be found in either of those positions.

Here are some phrases or sentences from the Oxford Dictionary of Collocations:

Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English, 2nd edition
lone adj.
Lone is used with these nouns: exception , father , figure , mother , parent , parenthood , traveller , voice , wolf
alone adj.
verbs
be , feel , sit , stand
These islands are too small to stand ~ as independent states.
feel
I've never felt so ~ as I do now.
leave sb , let sb
Don't touch me! Leave me ~!
adverb
very much
I felt vulnerable and very much ~.
all , completely , entirely , quite , utterly
Carol felt all ~ in the world.
He felt lost and completely ~.
together
Finally the two of us were ~ together.
preposition
with
She did not want to be ~ with him.
lonely adj.
verbs
be , feel , look , seem
become , get
adverb
extremely , fairly , very , etc.
It gets pretty ~ here in winter.
awfully , desperately , incredibly , terribly , unbearably
She was desperately ~ at school.
a little , slightly , etc.
Lonely is used with these nouns: childhood , existence , highway , life , night , old age , road , soul , spot , street , stretch , vigil
© Oxford University Press, 2009

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×