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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Correct Use of These Words

Fragile / Frail

Fragile: delicate, easily broken; frail: weak in health; without strong support.

e.g. This piece of glassware is fragile; please handle it with care.
e.g. You look pale and frail today. What's wrong with you?
e.g. The presidential candidate received frail support from his own State.

High / Highly

High: referring to altitude or position; highly: the degree or intensity. 

e.g. The airplane is flying high.
e.g. This disease is highly contagious.

Portend / Portent

Portend: foretell or forewarn; portent: self-importance.

e.g. This political decision may portend more trouble in the coming election.
e.g. The arrogant demeanor reflects the portent of the candidate.

Genteel / Gentle

Genteel: trying to be polite, and imitating good manners; gentle: kind, friendly.

e.g. He is living in genteel poverty (i.e. he is living a lifestyle that imitates that of the rich).
e.g. She is gentle in nature, and people like her.

Exhausting / Exhaustive

Exhausting: using much energy; exhaustive: very thorough or complete.

e.g. The exhausting work of working in the garden made me want to go to bed right away.
e.g. The police conducted an exhaustive investigation into this crime.

Observance / Observation

Observance: following rules and regulations; observation: seeing or paying attention to.

e.g. Tell me about your observation of the future of this company.
e.g. What do you think of the observance of the law on texting while driving?

Precede / Proceed

Precede: come or go before in time or place; proceed: go forward.

e.g. Soaking the beans overnight should precede the cooking.
e.g. We decided to proceed with the plan, even without the funding.

Half-blood / Half-breed

Half-blood: a person having one parent in common with another; half-breed: a person whose parents are of different races.

e.g. He is my half-blood: we have the same mother.
e.g. My girlfriend is a half-breed: her father is Danish, and her mother is Chinese.

Overall / Total

Overall: describing a measurement between two extremities, from one end to the other; total: complete;

e.g  What is the overall length of the bridge?
e.g. The project was a total success (not overall) 

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