I've seen people use si mem to mean oneself, particularly in the phrase per si mem to mean by oneself. However, it seems to me that just si is plenty.

Is this grammatically correct?

2 Answers 2


Per si mem is a grammatically correct phrase, though it does not have the same exact meaning as per si. Essentially, per si means that something is using itself/its existence to do something, while per si mem means that it is doing something without outside help. Per si mem has a connotation of action with intent, while per si implies that whatever happened just happened by virtue of the thing existing.

  • La reĝino per si inspiris nin. -> "The queen inspired us [by existing]."
  • La reĝino per si mem inspiris nin. -> "The queen inspired us on her own/single handedly."

Search " per si " on Tekstaro.com for more examples.


Si, si mem, and per si mem are all correct, depending on what you want to express.

There are well over 100 hits from Zamenhof at Tekstaro for si mem and 29 for per si mem.

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