This question was inspired by a comment to an answer on this question:

How would you say “same thing” in Latin?

In which an answerer translated "Utinam idem sentires ac ipsa/ipse sentio!" as "If only you felt the same as I (fem/masc) feel!"

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


As Joonas said, ipse is an intensifier, not a pronoun in and of itself.

Caesar ipse hoc dixit.
Caesar himself said this!

The trick is, Latin leaves out pronouns all the time. So you'll sometimes see ipse standing on its own.

Ipse hoc aedificavi.
I built this myself!

Here, the ending of the verb is what supplies the "I" and "my-" parts.

Finally, a word of caution: ipse does not mean "-self" in the sense of "he's talking to himself". In English, the "intensive" pronoun and the "reflexive" pronoun look the same, but in Latin this isn't the case! So only use ipse when you're emphasizing something, not when you're saying that the subject and the object are the same.

  • 1
    I would actually say that ipse is a pronoun, but not a personal pronoun. But I guess that depends on what one means by a pronoun in a first place, and that's tangential to the question at hand. Anyway, a +1 for a good explanation!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 0:47

The pronoun ipse is not a third person pronoun. It can be used with the first or second person just as well. The closest English word I can think of is "-self" from which one can form "myself", "yourself", "himself", and others. (For clarity, I should add that ipse is not quite the same as "-self"; it is just the simplest one-word translation. Forms of se can also be translated as "-self", but in a very different way.)

Reference to first or second (or third!) person can be left implicit. You can say ipse sentio ("I myself feel"), no need to say ego ipse sentio.

It is possible to use it together with ego or tu as well, and that gives more emphasis. It also proves unambiguously that the pronoun can go together with first and second persons. For a couple of examples, you can check uses of ego ipse and tu ipse in Cicero.

  • 1
    That has to be the fastest answer in history (literally within seconds haha). I will mark yours as the answer as soon as it'll allow me (which is apparently 10 minutes from now) (Also, did you mean to write "unambiguously?") Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 22:06
  • @SolaGratia I did, but I was in a Latin mode and went with in- instead of un-. Good catch!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 22:08

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