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"I like to travel alone with my wife"

Does this sentence make sense?

According to Merriam Webster, alone (adj) is without anyone or anything else, not involving or including anyone or anything else, separate from other people or things, without people that you know or that usually are with you. So I suppose that "alone" shouldn't be used to mean "together with another person".

But when I googled "alone with my wife", the result showed that some people did say that. I want to know whether they use the word "alone" correctly in such sentence, and whether it makes sense to be written in an essay. If it is not correct, then what should the sentence be when the writer means he only enjoys travel when it is done with his wife?

  • Not unless you're accompanying her corpse in a trunk. – deadrat Oct 7 '15 at 7:04
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    "alone with" to mean "together with another person" seems fine to me in some cases, like "I wanted to get alone with her." (However, "get alone with ____" coexists with the alternate expression "get ____ alone"). In this sentence, though, it does sound a bit oxymoronic. – herisson Oct 7 '15 at 7:20
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    >I like to travel with my wife alone. ~ is more articulate, because you're not traveling alone, but with your wife alone. You could also say >I like to travel with my wife only. >I like to travel with my wife exclusively. – Bread Feb 26 '18 at 14:02
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Alone means in the Free Dictionary Link:

Exclusively; only: The burden of proof rests on the prosecution alone.

And it addes, alone emphasizes being apart from others but does not necessarily imply unhappiness.

If you are traveling only with your wife excluding your parents or your children, you and your wife can be considered as one group of travellers. I don't see any reason alone cannot be used there.

One of examples in Google Search shows the similar usage as above.

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"Alone with" implies a private or intimate occasion.

"Finally after the children were in bed, I could be alone with my wife".

"I was determined to get five minutes alone with my new manager".

You could say "I like to travel with only my wife for company".

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"I like to travel with my wife alone."

If the sentence was intended to mean that you only enjoy travelling with your wife, then the above sentence is a more accurate phraseology. If your intent was different, then perhaps you should reconsider the sentence. For instance, if you meant that you like to travel with only your wife and yourself then perhaps something similar to the statement below would be more appropriate.

"I enjoy travel with only my wife and myself"

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    "I enjoy travel . . . with . . . myself." Seems like an odd use of "myself." As opposed to you traveling without yourself? – curious-proofreader Oct 7 '15 at 7:08
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    Both of these are only just acceptable. Alone has an unfortunate attraction for your wife, but she isn't alone; she's with you. And as @curious-proofreader notes, you say I travel by myself, not with myself. If the two of you are in agreement better to say, "My wife and I prefer to travel by ourselves." If it's just you: "I prefer to travel with my wife as my sole companion." – deadrat Oct 7 '15 at 7:12
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    There are two possible meanings here. If I say "When it comes to newspapers, I read The Guardian alone." - I might mean that I read no newspaper other than The Guardian, or I might mean that when I read it, no-one else is present. Unless you want to be unclear, I'd use a different expression. – JHCL Oct 7 '15 at 9:34

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