Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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The strange grammar of "with"

I recently realised that "with" in English takes a regular objective-case pronoun, rather than a reflexive one: we say I'm taking my umbrella with me and Did he take his coat with him when he went?, when what might be expected is *I'm taking my umbrella with myself and *Did he take his coat with himself when he went?.

After all, consider what seem similar situations: we don't say *I stuck a needle in me by mistake or *Did you buy the book for you?. (On the other hand, it just occurred to me that I do say I dragged a sled behind me, not *...behind myself.)

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