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Delegate vs delegate

  • Delegate and delegate are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. These word pairs are often misused words. Heteronyms exist because of our ever-changing English language, and these words with the same spelling and different pronunciation and meaning are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that look the same but are not pronounced the same, and how to use them in sentences, because they are easily confused. The way the pronunciations and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling and misuse by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word tear meaning a liquid drop that falls from an eye is derived from the Old English word tear, meaning a drop or nectar; tear meaning to pull apart comes from the Old English word tearan, which means to lacerate. Heteronyms are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced differently but are spelled the same and come from a different etymology. They are often used in puns and riddles. When reading, it is sometimes difficult to know which word is being used in a sentence and how to pronounce the word phonetically. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check for these commonly confused words but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a heteronym in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Do not confuse heteronyms with homophones, which are two or more words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings like sow and sew; do not confuse them with homonyms, which are words that have the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings like spring as in spring forth and spring as in the season of the year. Heteronyms are a type of homograph, which is a word that is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning. We will examine the definitions of the words delegate and delegate, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Delegate (DELL uh gut) is a noun that means a person who is acting for another at a conference, convention, or in an elected body; a committee member. The word delegate is derived from the Latin delegare, which means make someone a representative.

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    Delegate (DELL uh gate) is a verb that means to task someone with a responsibility or to make someone your representative. The verb delegate is also derived from the Latin word delegare. Related words are delgates, delegated, delegating, delegation.

    Examples

    Indian-American entrepreneur from Silicon Valley Ajay Jain Bhutoria has been elected as a delegate for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for the party’s national convention in August. (The Hindustan Times)

    Though Senator Bernie Sanders has officially suspended his presidential campaign, the Vermont senator has made clear that he intends to continue amassing delegates to influence the Democratic platform and push the party further left. (Vanity Fair)

    This goes without saying but the most important factor in your ability to run and scale many ventures at once is your ability to build a team and delegate work. (Forbes Magazine)

    “The president is very supportive of the safe reopening of the economy, which he’s delegated it to the states, and that was the right decision,” said the Congresswoman during a visit to a Belmonte Builders construction site in Wilton on May 26. (Saratoga Today Newspaper)


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