Angela’s ABCs: Appraise and apprise

One letter makes all the difference: Appraise means to assess or evaluate. Lose the second ‘a’ and you have apprise which means to inform, notify or advise. ‘I decided to have my father’s war medals appraised by an expert in militaria.’ ‘The expert apprised me of the medals’ value by return of post.’ Having trouble understanding a tricky word? Don’t know whether to use an apostrophe before or after an s? Not sure of your grammar? Ask our word expert Angela, and she’ll get back to you via Angela’s ABCs posts. Advertisements

Angela’s ABCs Imply and infer

Why do so many people muddle up imply and infer when they have opposite meanings? Imply means to state indirectly or suggest, while infer means to deduce or draw a conclusion. A speaker or writer implies, while a listener or reader infers: ‘He implied in his text message that he was about to dump me.’ ‘I inferred from his text message that he was about to dump me.’