The literal meaning of per se, translated from Latin, means ‘essentially’ or ‘intrinsically.’
Merriam Webster defines per se as an adverb where it means ‘by, of, or in itself or oneself or themselves, such as intrinsically,’ whereas as an adjective, it’s defined as ‘being such inherently, clearly, or as a matter of law’ by Webster. Similarly, Oxford dictionary defines per se a little more clearly, as such: used meaning ‘by itself’ to show that you are referring to something on its own, rather than in connection with other things.’
The Latin dictionary defines se as a Latin ablative, which, when translated, means 'himself,' 'herself,' 'itself,' or 'themselves.' It is used for all genders. Here, an ablative, usually used in Latin, is the English equivalent of 'with,' 'by,' and 'from.' It denotes a noun or pronoun that comes alongside it, such as 'by himself' or 'with themselves.'
Per se is being used correctly as long as it:
Per (someone’s name comes here) means ‘one for that person.’ For instance, if someone says “two apples per person,” it means one apple for one person, each.
Also check out: How to correctly pronounce per se.
Per is a preposition meaning ‘through’ or ‘by means of,’ whereas se is a reflexive pronoun, as mentioned above. The definition of per se. therefore, is ‘by itself’ or ‘intrinsically.’ In both speech and writing, it’s used when you take something out of its context to describe it in its own right, hence the ‘in and of itself’ definition. However, per se is quite commonly misused these days in everyday speech, especially when speakers use it to fill in gaps between different ideas.
Per se was first recorded to be used in English back in the early 1500s for referring to letters as letters themselves, such as A per se. Since then, it is widely being used throughout the world by English users; from Shakespeare and Freud to contemporary philosophers and politicians. The field of law makes tremendous use of it today.
No, per se comes from Latin per meaning ‘by and se meaning ‘of itself/himself/herself/themself/.’
The correct way to spell ‘per se’ is like this, whereas ‘per say’ is a misspelling of this initial, correct spelling.
In everyday speech and even in writing, a negative is not generally used right next to per se. So, it’s correct to say, for instance, “He’s not into arts per se, but he does enjoy photography" but it is NOT correct to say, "He's into arts not per se, but he does enjoy photography.”
Using ‘not’ with per se doesn’t change the meaning of ‘per se.’ It just changes the meaning of the overall sentence or utterance in general, just like adding ‘not’ to any other word does.
Per se is used in the following situations:
It can be used anywhere in a sentence, aside from the beginning of a sentence. As far as contexts and fields are concerned, per se is used in academia and law, mostly. In everyday writing and conversation, it’s commonplace to use per se with a negative, mostly ‘not.’
Per se is an uncountable ablative. It cannot be counted, nor can anything be counted using per se.
One usually uses per se when there’s a sense of ‘in and of itself.’ As far as everyday speech is concerned, speakers mostly use it when they want to distinguish between two different yet related ideas. For instance, “He’s not into arts per se, but he does enjoy photography.
Furthermore, per se is used when you want to single out something from the bigger whole. For example, you might say, “Your voice, per se, wasn’t the problem, but your pitch was.”
Readable lists the following 2 examples where per se is used efficiently:
“Your paragraph on the ethics of the True Crime genre is thought-provoking per se, but not pertinent to your article overall.” (used for singling out a central theme in the sentence)
"The car was not gaudy, per se, but the paint clashed horribly with brightly-coloured homes on the avenue." (used for the adjective 'gaudy' in its context, intrinsically)
“Oh this is good actually… It’s not that the long bits are bad per se but they get kinda tedious when you farm the fights.” (used for the adjective 'bad' in its context, intrinsically)
“Some of this is rooted in a genuine misconception of addiction: the myth that someone is addicted simply because he’s using drugs. But the problem with addiction isn’t drug use per se.”
“Look. I'm not saying I'm an Old Millennial, per se. But I remember when 'gotta catch 'em all' was a Bush cabinet war crimes joke." (used for the word 'old millennial' in its context, intrinsically)
“The candidate isn’t a pacifist per se, but she supports a peaceful resolution.” (used to relate two different yet related qualities about the noun)
“She’s a talented musician per se, but I simply don't like her style of playing." (used to highlight an idea, present in the first part of the sentence, to the idea presented in the second part of the sentence)
It's not about Ranveer, it's about the concept per se. It isn't that difficult to understand.” (used for singling out a central theme in the sentence)
Sentence Direct lists 30 useful examples that make the use of per se very clear and easy to grasp.
Another great collection of examples on the use of per se has been put in place online by Cambridge Dictionary.
That depends on whether or not there’s a dependent clause after per se. If there is, with ‘but’ mentioned after per se then yes, a comma follows it, as shown in the above examples.
Per se is a Latin phrase. As such, words/phrases/sentences from other languages, when written in an otherwise English text, are italicized. However, if the word belonging to a foreign language is very common now, and is commonly understood by English users, or has been integrated into the English language, there’s no need to italicize it. As such, per se can go non-italicized, too. If you like, though, you can italicize it. There’s no harm in doing so. Either is fine.
Even though every field and person within that field use per se, it's most commonly used law, which makes quite an obvious and plentiful use of Latin phrases, words, and expressions. For example, according to Cornell Law School, “in tort law, a statutory violation is negligence per se." It's also commonly used in academia and business.
Absolutely! It's used in every kind of text as well as speech, as long as the need arises to use it. However, since essays are purely academic and therefore formal writing, be sure to avoid overusing them. If the need is to use 'as such,' use 'as such' and not per se. But if you are talking about something in and of itself in your essay, using per se is justified.
According to IELTS Liz and other similar sources, every worar sources, every wd is counted in an essay. Words that are conjunctions (and, for, but, or, yet, nor, so) and articles (the, a, an) alone account for 20% of an essay's word count! Following is a break-down of what words are counted in an essay:
Words officially banned from use in formal writing and/or speech are banned or forbidden words. In December 2017, The Washington Post reported the following words as forbidden in the context of CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention: "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based."
Every field or profession might have a different list of words that are banned in that field/profession. American Federation of Teachers (AFT) contains a comprehensive yet not exhaustive list of banned words and themes. Forbidden words ‘censor’ language, to some extent.
There are many different kinds of words that should never be used in the essay, a formal academic form of writing. The reasons those words are not to be used in an essay is because they are either or all of the following:
Some of the words to never be used in essays include, but are not limited to:
You/your (second-person pronouns aren’t used in essay writing, nor are first-person pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘me.’)
Yes, you can use per se in any form of writing, as long as its use is needed in that specific context.
Commonly used in law, specifically in DUI laws, per se's meaning of 'by itself' is taken literally. That implies, in law, that if any action is labeled as 'illegal per se,’ it doesn’t require any additional proof that it’s illegal or that it happened. Since it’s declared illegal ‘per se’ that is, illegal in its own right, no extra proof is required. In such a case, simply committing that act makes that person liable for punishment, hence the term ‘per se offense.’
Law makes use of per se a lot, mainly because of what it means. Something illegal, for instance, is illegal in itself, in its own right, hence the use of per se with it. Similarly, if someone violates a regulation in a court of law without a good reason, they're considered negligent per se. Their mere act of neglecting, of violating that regulation, is considered a violation in itself. That’s where negligence per se applies.
Using words like ‘then’ leads to something called redundancy in writing: over-use of something which, if removed, will not affect the meaning of that sentence/phrase. ‘Then’ is often used redundantly in writing, even by professional writers at times. However, editing your written piece should be enough to rewrite sentences containing ‘then’ too much.