Please note that you are free to drop your explanation too if you have a better one.
Firstly, what's an idiomatic expression?
An idiomatic expression is a phrase that gives you a new way to express yourself in a particular situation. It requires a deep familiarity with the English language before you understand the meaning and how to use them. But people tend to respect you when you use it in your conversation. It makes your English language stronger.
So, what does it mean to say "I am a shadow of myself"?. This is an idiomatic expression. I will explain according to my understanding.
Let's look at it this way, what's the real meaning of a shadow. Shadow (in physics) is the dark shape produced by an object placed in front of the light source or in between the light source and the screen. Let's leave physics aside, simply put, the shadow is the dark side of our personality. Let's deeply think about the word "dark side".
We feel better to announce or expose the bright side of our lives but we find it difficult to reveal the dark side of our lives. That's when we are experiencing negative things. It's when you will hear people saying I'm a shadow of myself.
"I'm a shadow of myself" simply means that one is physically and mentally weak as a result of something being dramatically changed as in negative circumstances or traumatic events. In another word, it means someone is feeling unhealthy as before or ill.
Usage: here are a few sentences to show how to use the idiom.
1. John has been nothing but a shadow of himself since that accident.
2. This new government is but a shadow of itself.
3. The lady was just a shadow of her old self.
Construct your sentences. Let's see more usage of this idiom.
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