“To Myself” or “For Myself” – What’s The Difference?

“To myself” and “for myself” sound similar when used in a sentence but are they the same? This article will shed light on the meaning and differences between “to myself” and “for myself” The article will also provide examples of how the phrases can be used in a sentence.

Difference Between “To Myself” and “For Myself”

The phrase “to myself” means having something or someone to yourself without the motive of sharing it with anyone. In contrast, “for myself” means having something to yourself that benefits you or adds value to you, which may or may not involve others.

to myself or for myself

A perfect example with “to myself” and “for myself” will be saying;

  • I want the cake all to myself

This means the speaker of this sentence does not want to share the cake with anybody else.

  • I was going to buy the book for myself.

The speaker of this sentence wants to have the book for their own benefit. They can also decide to involve another person using the exact phrase.

  • I was going to buy the book for myself and Peter.

The sentence means the speaker would get the book for themselves and another person named Peter.

English native speakers love to use “to Myself” and “for Myself” interchangeably because they sound similar. However, they are not to be used interchangeably because they both serve different purposes in a sentence.

 So, when used interchangeably, it does not mean the sentence will be grammatically wrong, but it will change the meaning to another narrative.

To Myself

“To myself” denotes the purpose of having something to oneself without having to share it with any other person. It is used whenever the Subject is to own or use a thing alone without the motive of sharing or involving it with any other person.

The following examples will give a clear picture of how to use “to myself” in a sentence.

  1. I gave a gift to myself on my birthday.
  2. I had an evening treat to myself when I won the award.
  3. Every evening, I have the basketball court all to myself
  4. I have a notebook where I write my daily activities, and I read the note to myself every day.
  5. Now that I have all the time to myself, it’s time to do some laundry.
  6. Make sure to recite positive affirmations to yourself every morning.
  7. I made sure I had my lunch break to myself.

For Myself

“For myself” means having something beneficial to yourself with or without involving others. The phrase is used whenever a speaker is to own or use a thing that will be beneficial to them with or without the help of any other person.

The following example will give a good demonstration of how to use “for myself” in a sentence.

  1. I bought a gift for myself last holiday
  2. After my startup made it to Forbes, I got a nice treat for myself.
  3. I have reserved all these souvenirs for myself.
  4. I only have one note for myself.
  5. I’m sorry I won’t be available for the party, the time I have left after work is for myself.
  6. I think it’s time to get a red dress for yourself.
  7. One day, I’m going to buy a Lamborghini for myself and my dad.

Which Is Used The Most?

Both “to myself” and “for myself” are grammatically correct, although they cannot be interchanged because they denote different meanings when used in a sentence.

According to the Google Ngram Viewer graph, “to myself” is the most used phrase, and this is because it sounds and feels more personal than “for myself”.

to myself or for myself english usage

“To myself” is also easier to use and more fluent than “for myself.” Nevertheless, both are grammatically correct when used. 

These are example sentences that validate the above statement. 

  • I have a house to myself.
  • I have a house for myself.

The above shows that “to myself” is more fluent and possessive of the object “house” than the phrase “for myself”.

Final Thoughts

“To myself” and “for myself” express a very personal situation. However, you use “to myself” when you want something or someone alone without involving others. On the hand, “for myself” is having someone or something to yourself and giving room to others to share with you.