Written by Malki Ehrlich on April 24, 2017
What does “per se” mean?
Per se is a Latin expression regularly used in conversational English. It means “in itself”.
How is “per se” utilized as a part of a sentence in English?
When used, the sentence structure, usually resembles the example below:
“Your action might not break it, per se, but it could ruin it”
Examples in use:
- I’m not a teacher, per se, but I do educate.
- Chimpanzees aren’t the safest pet, per se, but mine hasn’t killed me yet.
- The research demonstrates that vaccinating infants does not cause autism, per se, but may have other side effects.
- Professional researchers agreed that co-sleeping with babies does not put them in danger, per se, however it isn’t altogether healthy.
The phrase is also typically used as a part of legal expressions; to describe an occasion in which there is an assumption of innocence. However, more often in English, the term per se is misused as a way to conclude a sentence, perhaps by those who are not aware of its origin and meaning, yet wish to sound well -spoken.
Per se may also refer to:
Per se (Latin), a Latin phrase meaning “by itself” or “in itself”.
Illegal per se, the legal usage in criminal and anti-trust law.
Negligence per se, legal use in tort law.
Per Se (restaurant), a New York City restaurant.