Wrong Word Wednesday #50

Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television.

Loath / Loathe

Another one where it appears we are splitting hairs, where they are remarkably similar in many ways but are quite different. They both mean to dislike something but one is a verb and the other is an adjective.

Loath – Adjective. This means unwillingness. “My dog is loath to going out for a walk when it’s raining”.

Loathe – Verb. meaning to hate, detest, despise. You loathe a person or a thing. “Don’t put onion on my pizza, I loathe onion.”

Be careful though, because sometimes loathe can be used in a similar context to above “I loathe to rush you”… as in “I hate to rush you”.

To know if you are using the right one, substitute the word for “unwilling”. If the sentence makes sense, then you have the right one. Oh and they are pronounced differently too, details on this and more at grammar monster

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