0

One meaning of per is according to per Merriam-Webster:

according to —often used with asper instructionsas per usual

Can I use per in the following way?

Per my teacher

Please note that the original title of the question was:
Is per always interchangeable with according to?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Mar 24 '17 at 2:32

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 2
    No. My car gets 30 miles according to gallon. (This is in answer to the question in the title) – Jim Mar 11 '17 at 20:57
  • 4
    @Jim: If that's according to your Volkswagen‎ car, I'd take the claim with a pinch of salt! – FumbleFingers Mar 11 '17 at 21:42
  • 1
    The 'according to' sense is far less commonly used than is 'according to'. Try Google searches on "according to her" and "per her". – Edwin Ashworth Mar 11 '17 at 22:03
  • 3
    British English does not generally use per in the sense of according to, whether used with a person "Per my teacher" or another noun "Per your instructions". The latter might be more commonly expressed "As per your instructions," although the former would never be said with as. – Andrew Leach Mar 11 '17 at 22:04
  • 1
    Shouldn't your title be "Is 'per' always interchangeable with 'according to' when it carries this sense?"? – Edwin Ashworth Mar 11 '17 at 22:26
3

You have identified only one definition of 'per'. There are three current, according to Merriam Webster:

  1. by means of
  2. with respect to every member of a group
  3. according to

The use you identified is the third on that list. Examples of the first ("per bearer") are now considered archaic, but the second ("miles per gallon" or "one plate per person") is quite common, and both are distinct from the third.

  • Good point. I shall adjust – jbeldock Mar 12 '17 at 1:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy