Adapt vs. Adept

Adapt vs. Adept

The English language is full of words that are very similar, and these words are often confused. This happens, for the most part, because people hear the words used in spoken language and then they try to add them to their own vocabularies without really being sure which word is which. Adapt and adept are two such often confused words. Let's take a closer look at their differences so that you will be adept at using both.

Adapt is a verb that means to adjust to new conditions or to change something to make it useful for a new purpose.

1. Animals that are able to adapt to their surroundings have a greater chance of survival than those who cannot adapt.

2. I know that it is colder in here than you are used to, but give it a few minutes, and I think you will adapt to the slight difference in temperature.

3. We need to adapt this computer so that it can be used by the children to play academic games.

Adept is typically used as an adjective, and it refers to someone who is very proficient at something.

1. Karen is very adept at playing the piano, and I cannot wait to attend her concert next month.

2. My boss is adept at reading the faces of people who are in a meeting, and he can tell when we are confused by his words.

3. In order to succeed in any job, you must be adept at communicating and working with those around you.

As you can see, these words function as different parts of speech, and they have vastly different meanings. If you still have trouble with them, you can think of the "e" in adept as standing for "expert."

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