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Pray vs. prey

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  • Pray is always a verb. To pray is (1) to utter a prayer to a god or another higher power, and (2) to make a fervent request.

    Prey is (1) a noun referring to one that is hunted or attacked, and (2) a verb meaning to hunt, catch, or eat as prey.

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    Examples

    Others compare drought to a python, which slowly and inexorably squeezes its prey to death. [New York Times]

    They, evidently, agreed that I ought not to pray in the church basement nor to pray on the church grounds. [Marshall Independent]

    An unemployed man from Utah is advertising himself as the prey for hunting enthusiasts for $10,000. [Independent]

    Two weeks away from the federal government defaulting on its debts — how, pray tell, has this come to pass? [CNN]

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