May 10, 2013
appropriate (verb)
\uh-PROH-pree-ayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to take for one's own often without right2 : to set apart for a particular purpose or use
How do you use it?
Land near the high school has been appropriated as the site of the new middle school.
Are you a word wiz?

The verb "appropriate" has a homonym: the adjective "appropriate" (pronounced uh-PROH-pree-ut) which means "especially suitable or fitting." Our writers used both words in the sentences below. Can you find the sentence that uses the verb correctly?

The one to take is B. We can eliminate sentence A right away because it uses the adjective "appropriate" instead of the verb. Sentence C also uses the word as an adjective and has the additional problem of not making sense. The writer was probably thinking of "approximate" instead of "appropriate." Sentence D looks promising because it uses "appropriate" as a verb, but like sentence C, it doesn't make sense. The writer was probably confusing "appreciate" with "appropriate." That leaves sentence B, where we find the verb "appropriate" used in a completely appropriate way.
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