A. This in itself requires investigation.

B. Energy by itself is useless.

C. That in and of itself is interesting.

What is their meaning and how to use them correctly?

Subquestion: Let's say I want to buy a B12 vitamin formula and the pharmacist is giving me a B-Complex bottle of the supplement. Can we say: I'm looking for B12 formula by itself?

1 Answer 1


by itself means "alone, unaccompanied".

in itself means "not needing other things".

in and of itself means "when considered in isolation".

The pony, standing by itself in the paddock, looked rather forlorn.

This deed, in itself, is an impeachable offense.

This action, in and of itself, does not constitute obstruction of justice, but when seen in the context of other actions, a pattern of behavior emerges which rises to that offense.

Yes, you could say "I'd like some B12, by itself" or "B12, just by itself".

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