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Quick answer
"By themselves" is an adjective which is often translated as "solos", and "on their own" is a phrase which is often translated as "por su cuenta". Learn more about the difference between "by themselves" and "on their own" below.
by themselves(
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (alone)
a. solos
The kids are by themselves in the house.Los niños están solos en la casa.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
2. (alone)
a. solos
My cousins are old enough to drive by themselves.Mis primos tienen la edad suficiente para manejar solos.
b. a solas
Are the kids playing outside by themselves?¿Los niños están jugando afuera a solas?
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on their own(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (by themselves)
a. por su cuenta
Children must do their homework on their own, without their parent's help.Los niños deben hacer la tarea por su cuenta, sin la ayuda de sus padres.
b. por sí mismos (masculine)
The patients can't change their clothes on their own.Los enfermos no pueden cambiarse por sí solos.
c. por sí mismas (feminine)
The girls can tie their shoes on their own.Las niñas pueden atarse los cordones por sí mismas.
d. por sí solos (masculine)
These robots can repair themselves on their own.Estos robots se pueden reparar por sí solos.
e. por sí solas (feminine)
The old ladies can't get up on their own.Las ancianas no se pueden levantar por sí solas.
2. (on their)
a. en su propio
It was a heated debate, but I beat them on their own ground.Fue un debate candente, pero los vencí en su propio terreno.
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