Ximena Yg
Use or usage? Hi! I was wondering what is the difference between use and usage, which one is more appropriate for formal writing? I'll really appreciate if you could help me.
Aug 22, 2018 6:57 PM
Answers · 5
Usage is only ever a noun, and refers to the "how" something is used, especially in terms of a customary or ongoing normalized use. "Use" can be a verb or a noun, and "use" in its noun form is much more common than "usage." When in doubt, stick with "use." This is a very advanced question and difficult for even a native speaker to answer!
August 22, 2018
I am just going to talk about the way we use these words in the context of language learning. "To use" is a verb, corresponding to "usar" in Spanish. In this case, the "s" in "use" is pronounced like the buzzing English "z," as if it were spelled "uze." "Usage" means "the way a word or phrase is used." We learn "good English usage." We consult "dictionaries of English usage." We look in the dictionary for "usage notes." The noun, "use," pronounced with an "s" sound. It refers to one particular place where a word is used. For example, consider the (incorrect!) sentence: "There coats are hanging on the hooks over there." 1) The word "there" is used twice. 2) There are two uses of the word "there" in that sentence. 3) The first use in the phrase "there coats" is wrong. It is bad usage. The correct word to use here is "their." 4) The second use, in the phrase "over there," is right. It is good usage. The difference between "use" and "usage" is subtle. The meanings overlap. Native speakers make mistakes. Sometimes either word is correct. Using the wrong word will usually be understood, and the mistake may not even be noticed.
August 23, 2018
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