Choosing between Similar Words

Often, when writing an essay, article or thesis, you will need to decide which particular word works best with your text. Sometimes this can be difficult when there are several words with the same or similar meaning; these groups of words are called ‘synonyms’. As an example, the word ‘particular’ (used in the first sentence of this blog) is a synonym for ‘specific’, ‘exact’ and ‘precise’. Your choice of word will depend upon the style, context and even the rhythm of your text. What, though, determines your choice between words that are not only synonyms for each other but also look and sound almost exactly the same? The words ‘minimal’ and ‘minimum’ and the words ‘optimal’ and ‘optimum’ are often used interchangeably. While the …

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