I am stern ____ myself; I allow myself no mistake.

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I'd like to know about the word "stern with" and I think it can mean "strict", so I am wondering if I can say:

I am stern with myself; I allow myself no mistake.

But my roommate tells me that it should be "stern to".

And I am wondering which is correct?

I am stern with myself; I allow myself no mistake.
I am stern to myself; I allow myself no mistake.

To seems to imply the direction, doesn't it?
 
  • ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Hi,

    I'd like to know about the word "stern with" and I think it can mean "strict", so I am wondering if I can say:

    I am stern with myself; I allow myself no mistake(s).

    But my roommate tells me that it should be "stern to". :cross:

    And I am wondering which is correct?
    Or,

    "I am a perfectionist."
    "I am very tough on myself; I hate to make mistakes." (or something like that...)
     
    Last edited:

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I also see a difference between those, but it's mostly one of register in this particular context. This is how I see a possible ascending order of their formality: tough --> hard --> strict
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I use 'stern' for tone of voice or facial expression, general affect which may go aong with being strict, which I see as an attitude. I wish I could be more strict with myself; I wish I could stick to the various resolutions and 'rules' I make for myself. When I don't stick to them, I then feel bad about myself. I tell my friend what a pathetic person I am but my friend quite rightly tells me I am far "too hard on" myself, over-critical, with too high, unrealistic, and unnecessary expectations of myself.

    Hermione
     
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