Wednesday, October 14, 2015

partake/participate: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, October 14, 2015

“Partake” looks like it might mean “take part,” and that’s how many people mistakenly use it where they should say “participate.” The main modern meaning of “partake” is “consume,” especially in relation to food. One can partake of the refreshments at a party, but one can also partake of Twinkies at home alone, without any thought of sharing.

So don’t ask people to “partake” in a planning process when you mean to ask them to participate.

Episode 3 of The Common Errors in English Usage Podcast ("Blogging, Data, and Grammar") is now available.

This is the tenth year of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

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