In conversation, I just said:

Разве терять голову и быть в восторге от самого себя – это как раз не значит поступить не по-взрослому?

Sometimes I find myself of two minds about the position of "сам" when it is placed right next to "себя". In terms of emphasis and style, how does my phrasing compare with:

Разве терять голову и быть в восторге от себя самого – это как раз не значит поступить не по-взрослому?

  • себя самого seems to elevate the register, in speech their order may get reversed when the speaker misses самого and adds it post factum, which is likely because it's only secondary to себя – Баян Купи-ка Jan 6 '19 at 7:47
  • That's true that in speaking we can use it both ways. For me it is easier to pronounce the first sentence, rhythmically and articulatory. – Elena Jan 6 '19 at 9:03

In the Russian language there is an idiom "себя любимого" ("beloved myself" / "beloved himself"). Examples:

Как же я при выборе кандидата на должность главы комиссии забуду себя любимого?
Ты весь вечер говоришь только о себе любимом!

If you are talking about any narcissistic aspects, it makes sense to say "себя самого", because this order of words is a reference to the phrase "себя любимого".

"Самого себя" on the contrary is associated with the standard Russian phrase "От самого себя не убежишь" ("You can not escape from yourself") and has a certain fatalistic connotation. Therefore, in this case, this word order is less appropriate.

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  • От себя не убежишь. You can put самого anywhere here, but it is not necessary. Usually it is without самого. – Elena Jan 6 '19 at 9:01
  • @Elena, "От себя самого не убежишь" is used very rarely. Usually only in situations when the author consciously wants to go beyond the standard use of this phrase. In most cases "самого" is either placed before "себя" or not placed at all. – Ivan Olshansky Jan 6 '19 at 14:19

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