I'm writing a song and the line "I'm walking by my own" fits better than "I'm walking all alone". Would it be correct to write it like that or that doesn't exist? Thanks to everybody.

  • "by" is odd. Try "on." I'm waling on my own. But, that means both alone and without the help of anyone else, or without crutches, a cane, etc. Apr 1, 2016 at 4:08
  • It's grammatical, but means something different - it means you are 'walking by' (i.e. going past or ignoring) the ones you call your own.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 1, 2016 at 6:19
  • @Fernando You could try, "I'm walking 'by my lonesome'" google.fr/…
    – Elian
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:43
  • @Fernando dictionary.com/browse/lonesome
    – Elian
    Apr 1, 2016 at 12:49
  • 1
    Thanks to all of you for your very interesting answers. In fact, my first idea was "I'm walking on my own", as curious-proofreader suggests. Thanks again for your help, buddies.
    – Fernando
    Apr 1, 2016 at 16:57

3 Answers 3


The idiomatic phrases are:

  • on my own
  • by myself
  • alone

Notice that we can't say * by my own or * on myself. The first two examples above can also be understood to mean "without any help" as opposed to just meaning alone.

The Original Poster therefore has the following options, amongst others:

  • I'm walking on my own.
  • I'm walking by myself.
  • I'm walking alone.

The usual idiom is I'm walking on my own, which could be a small child pointing out that they were walking unaided for the first time (unlikely since this stage of development usually precedes an ability to construct sentences).

But it could equally be said by an adult who normally walks in a group - today, I'm walking on my own.

However, perhaps the more popular idiom would be I am walking by myself.

  • Re "perhaps the more popular idiom would be I am walking by myself.": In what sense do you mean "by myself" is an idiom? Mar 7, 2020 at 12:32
  • @MrReality "by myself" = "on my own".
    – WS2
    Mar 7, 2020 at 16:59

The idiom In English is I'm walking on my own, rather than by my own.


  • But it would only be used of a child learning to walk - "Look, little Bobby's walking on his own!" - or someone recovering from injury or illness. Of course it might be used metaphorically - e.g "I don't need you, I can walk on my own" but probably referring to literal walking.
    – jamesqf
    Apr 1, 2016 at 4:20
  • Yeah, you're right - it does have that connotation to it. Not entirely sure what else he could say if he can't use "all alone" but still wants 3 syllables and somewhat of a rhyme (at least I'm guessing that's what he wants since it's a song).
    – Nick
    Apr 1, 2016 at 4:27
  • I don't see a problem with "on my own" as equivalent to "by myself".
    – Simon B
    Apr 1, 2016 at 7:35
  • An upvote if you support your answer, a dictionary citation and/or link will do. Even correct answers should be supported on EL&U.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 1, 2016 at 8:01
  • Again, thanks to all of you. I realize that I was right when I first thought about "I'm walking on my own" instead of "by my own" but (I'm spanish) I was not sure. I love writing songs in english but I hate to make mistakes (in any language) so I really apreciate your help. Regards!!!
    – Fernando
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.