If you’ve heard someone add “as per usual” to their sentence, you might wonder why they chose this sequence of words, and subsequently, is this phrase grammatically correct?
Yes, it is correct to say “as per usual.” We can use this idiomatic phrase as a conjunctive adverb or an adverbial phrase in various sentence structures. However, we often use it to create a mocking or negative tone; therefore, it may be more appropriate to instead use “as usual” in some cases.
Continue reading to find out exactly what “as per usual” means and how to be sure you’re using it correctly.
What Does “As Per Usual” Mean?
The formal definition of “as per usual” is “in the accustomed or habitual way.” It is an idiomatic expression we utilize to express something happening according to the norm. “As per usual” can either state a fact or communicate a sarcastic attitude.
You can put these together to form a definition like, “According to how it is typically done.”
You may consider “as per usual” an idiom to use in a mocking or satirical tone to indicate something negative that often occurs has happened again (source).
How Do You Use “As Per Usual”?
In the phrase “as per usual,” “as per” creates a phrasal preposition. This is when two prepositions — in this case, “as” and “per” — combine. We then pair them with a noun — in this case, the noun is “usual” — which is the object of the preposition.
While the word “usual” is normally an adjective, it is a noun that refers to typical circumstances or actions when we pair it with the phrasal preposition “as per.”
Now that we know this, how do we use this unique phrase?
One way that you can use “as per usual” is as a conjunctive adverb. A conjunctive adverb is a word or phrase that links two independent clauses, either within a sentence or as two separate sentences (source). The conjunctive adverb usually provides some context as to how the two clauses relate.
- Tomorrow, we’ll take our exam; as per usual, you will need to bring a no. 2 pencil.
This sentence shows that “Tomorrow, we’ll take our exam” is an independent clause, as it contains a subject, verb, and object to form a complete thought. “You will need to bring a no. 2 pencil” is also an independent clause. The phrase “as per usual” joins these two clauses together to communicate two things:
First, the two clauses are related.
Second, they will take the test (mentioned in the first clause) as it is typically or habitually done and will require the typical supplies (mentioned in the second clause): a no. 2 pencil.
The phrase “as per usual” can also act as an adverbial phrase within a sentence. We include adverbs and adverbial phrases in sentences to answer questions like “how?” “when?” and “where?” In most cases, “as per usual” will answer the question, “How?”
- As per usual, he called to check in on his grandmother this afternoon.
In this sentence, the phrase “as per usual” helps to answer the question, “How?” While it does not explain the mechanics of how he made the phone call, it does indicate that he routinely made the phone call. It was not out of the ordinary.
When Can You Use “As Per Usual”?
“As per usual” is a versatile phrase that you can add to a variety of sentences, whether in writing or speech. You can use it with any verb tense and from any point of view.
You can use “as per usual” in various ways unconstrained by verb tense. Rather, you can use it when speaking in the past, present, or future.
In the present tense, you could use it as a comment on a current situation:
- I see you’ve arrived empty-handed as per usual.
In the past tense, you can use it for additional context when recounting a story or action:
- I ordered a drink while I waited because, as per usual, Ryan was running late.
In the future tense, you can use it to predict what might happen based on a habitual occurrence in the past:
- I bet she will arrive late for the meeting, as per usual.
Point of View
“As per usual” is also not limited to a certain point of view. It is a useful phrase in the first, second, or third person.
In the first person, you can use it to add commentary from your point of view or to make a comment about yourself.
- I’m not surprised that it’s raining again as per usual.
- As per usual, I’m wearing my best shoes on a rainy day.
In the second person, you can use it in a command or when speaking directly to someone.
- You need to pack a lunch for the field trip as per usual.
- Let me guess; you forgot to do your homework again, as per usual?
The third person is likely the most common point of view when using “as per usual” in a mocking way. This is because you are usually commenting on someone or something else.
- Elizabeth missed the monthly meeting as per usual.
In What Context Can You Use “As Per Usual”?
Most often, we use “as per usual” to describe or comment on actions or circumstances that are typical and expected. This could be in writing or speech.
Again, “as per usual” can sometimes contain a connotation of mocking or satire. This use adds a humorous tone to your writing or conversation. However, you can also add it to express a negative emotion, such as annoyance or frustration, with a habitual action.
- As per usual, my terrible luck has cost me time, money, and sanity.
Using “As Per Usual” in a Full Sentence
There is no one particular way in which you find “as per usual” in a full sentence. You may place it at the beginning or end of a sentence without changing meaning because it is an idiomatic phrase of time.
Here are some examples of where the phrase might fall in a sentence.
At the Beginning of a Sentence
When you use “as per usual” at the beginning of a sentence in writing, you will often follow it with a comma.
- As per usual, our professor assigned a ridiculous amount of homework.
At the Beginning of a Clause
You might also find “as per usual” in the middle of a sentence preceding a second independent clause. A comma often follows the phrase in this case as well.
They were hoping for a better experience upon their second visit to the restaurant, but as per usual, service was slow, and the staff was unfriendly.
At the End of a Sentence
You can add “as per usual” to the end of a sentence to provide additional context and tone to the sentence. Sometimes, we would separate this with a comma for additional emphasis.
- The woman spent over an hour in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, as per usual.
When Not to Use “As Per Usual”
While there are few formal restrictions on when and how you might use the phrase “as per usual,” it may not be appropriate in all situations. For instance, this phrase’s tones could communicate an attitude that is not ideal, depending on the context.
For example, if a teacher has a new student in his or her class, the sentence, “Tomorrow, we’ll take our exam; as per usual, you will need to bring a no. 2 pencil,” could make the new student feel unprepared and isolated.
Even worse is the sentence, “Tomorrow, we’ll take our exam as per usual.” If a new student is in class, this sentence could leave out important details and instructions they might need to know.
Also, “as per usual” can add an unintended mocking or humorous tone to your voice, so it is usually best to avoid in serious situations, as well as out of respect for elders and authorities.
For example, it would not be wise to say to your boss:
- You’re late for the meeting again, as per usual.
“As per usual” can be a superfluous phrase, and overusing it could make your speech or writing seem unnatural. You should make sure that the phrase improves or adds value to your writing or speech rather than a distraction.
What Can You Use Instead of “As Per Usual”?
If you want to express or bring attention to a habitually occurring item without adding any unintended connotations, you should consider using “as usual, “like usual,” or “like normal.” These are more neutral phrases that will not communicate any unintentional messages.
Here is an example of a situation in which you could replace “as per usual” with “like normal”:
Instead of going to the meeting, please start your day like normal by responding to emails and planning your week.
“Usually” and “typically” are two adverbs of frequency that you can also use in this context:
- Usually, we start creating a meeting agenda a few days in advance.
There are several different types of prepositions, and “as per usual” contains just one of those types. “As per” is a double preposition, but other prepositions you might encounter include simple, compound, and participle prepositions.
Continue reading to learn more about these various preposition types.
A simple preposition is a basic type of preposition that pairs with a noun to add time, place, location, direction, or other relationships (source).
Simple prepositions of time include “before,” “after,” and “during”:
- My date fell asleep during the movie.
Simple prepositions of place include “over,” “under,” “above,” and “below”:
- A mouse is hiding under the refrigerator.
Simple prepositions of direction include “to,” “toward,” and “against”:
- He went to the concert with his girlfriend on Friday night.
Simple prepositions of location/proximity include “near,” “between,” “among,” and “within”:
- We can walk to dinner because the restaurant is located near the office.
We form prepositions like “as per” from two individual prepositions that act together as one preposition. Here are other examples of double prepositions in a sentence:
- According to your mother, I am a loud eater.
- You can go out if you’d like. As for me, I am going to stay home and watch a movie.
A compound preposition is a preposition paired with a non-prepositional word, such as “as compared to,” “according to,” or “with respect to” (source).
- According to the recipe, we are supposed to allow the butter to soften for one hour.
A participle preposition is a preposition that ends with -ed or -ing, such as “during,” “assuming,” or “given.” For example:
- Given these unusual circumstances, classes are canceled for the rest of the day.
For more information on the various ways prepositions function in the English language and in another “as per” idiom, check out our article “Is It Correct to Say ‘As Per’?”
Phrases and Idioms
Idioms are phrases with a meaning that we cannot explicitly determine from the definitions of their individual words. Many idioms involve figurative language and are often seemingly nonsensical.
Here is an example of a common idiom:
- Commenting on the time I spend on my phone is the pot calling the kettle black.
However, these aren’t the only types of idioms and phrases you can add to a sentence.
“As per usual” is a superfluous idiomatic phrase. It can add attitude, formality, or humor to a sentence but is not necessary for communicating the main point. You can use it to imply meaning that you might only pick up from its context or the tone of the person speaking.
It is a good phrase to use when you want to add personal attitude or sarcasm to this sentence without explicitly stating how you feel. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
For example, instead of saying, “I am frustrated that we are over budget again,” you could say, “we are over budget again, as per usual.” This is an arguably more subtle yet effective way to state your feelings.
“As per usual” is a unique idiomatic phrase for indicating a habitual action. You might use it as a conjunctive adverb to connect two clauses or as an adverbial phrase to describe an action or situation taking place.
Often, a mocking tone is implied by this phrase, which causes it to come across as sarcasm. Learning how to correctly use this phrase can allow you to cleverly express emotion in your writing or speech without explicitly stating everything on your mind.