Difference between Alone and Lonely | Lonely vs Alone

As people often jokingly say, English is a funny language. The reason is there are many words that people, irrespective of their age, find to be confusing. Lonely and Alone are one such pair. People often make mistakes as both these words seem to be synonymous. This article will help students to understand the difference between these two words and make sure that they can use them in the right context. You can find a number of words that are often misinterpreted in the English Language section at BYJU’S website. This article will cover up the following topics; let’s have a look at them.

  • Table Summarising the Difference between Lonely and Alone
  • The Difference between Lonely and Alone – Meaning
  • Example for Lonely and Alone
  • Lonely and Alone – Conclusion

Table Summarising the Difference between Lonely and Alone

Lonely

Alone

Meaning

Lonely refers to a feeling that is caused by abandonment.

Alone refers to a time when a person is separated and far from the group

Usage

Used as an adjective

Used as either adjective or adverb

Example

Raj feels lonely in a foreign land.

Sheldon is standing alone in the hall.

If you go through the above table, you will notice what makes lonely different from that of alone. One has to understand the meaning of both the words; only then one can use them appropriately.

The Difference between Lonely and Alone – Meaning

When the word ‘lonely’ is said, it simply refers to the feeling a person experiences. The feeling of loneliness is experienced by someone who feels separated or doesn’t have any friends. Feeling lonely can be psychological, and one can feel lonely amongst the crowd too. Whereas alone refers to a time when a person is on their own or when no one is around/present with them. Being alone can trigger one to feel lonely, but one might not be alone yet feel lonely. The term ‘lonely’ can only be used as an adjective, i.e. to describe the noun. For example, “Simmy was feeling lonely in the new city.” Here, ‘lonely’ describes how Simmy is feeling. Whereas ‘alone’ can be used both as an adverb as well as an adjective. For example, “Sam went inside the building alone.” Here, ‘alone’ is used as an adverb describing how Sam went inside the building. On the other hand, “Shelly alone who got a prize.” Here, ‘alone’ is used as an adjective as it describes that Shelly was the single person who got the award.

Example for Lonely and Alone

The following example will help students to understand better the terms ‘lonely’ and ‘alone’.

Lonely – Sameera was feeling lonely with a hundred people around her.

Alone – Sam was alone at the auditorium.

Once students understand the meaning of ‘lonely’ and ‘alone’, they can easily form examples on their own.

Lonely and Alone – Conclusion

To sum up, ‘lonely’ and ‘alone’ are not at all synonymous in nature and can’t be used interchangeably. One has to understand the context while using these two words. This article walks one through the important points that help one to understand when, where and how to use these two terms. BYJU’S offers many such words that are often misinterpreted by people, which you can use for your reference and to understand the difference between them.

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