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a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.

anything resembling such a composition: a picture essay.

an effort to perform or accomplish something; attempt.

Philately . a design for a proposed stamp differing in any way from the design of the stamp as issued.

Obsolete . a tentative effort; trial; assay.

to try; attempt.

to put to the test; make trial of.

Origin of essay

Other words from essay.

  • es·say·er, noun
  • pre·es·say, verb (used without object)
  • un·es·sayed, adjective
  • well-es·sayed, adjective

Words that may be confused with essay

  • assay , essay

Words Nearby essay

  • essay question

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use essay in a sentence

As several of my colleagues commented, the result is good enough that it could pass for an essay written by a first-year undergraduate, and even get a pretty decent grade.

GPT-3 also raises concerns about the future of essay writing in the education system.

This little essay helps focus on self-knowledge in what you’re best at, and how you should prioritize your time.

As Steven Feldstein argues in the opening essay , technonationalism plays a part in the strengthening of other autocracies too.

He’s written a collection of essays on civil engineering life titled Bridginess, and to this day he and Lauren go on “bridge dates,” where they enjoy a meal and admire the view of a nearby span.

I think a certain kind of compelling essay has a piece of that.

The current attack on the Jews,” he wrote in a 1937 essay , “targets not just this people of 15 million but mankind as such.

The impulse to interpret seems to me what makes personal essay writing compelling.

To be honest, I think a lot of good essay writing comes out of that.

Someone recently sent me an old Joan Didion essay on self-respect that appeared in Vogue.

There is more of the uplifted forefinger and the reiterated point than I should have allowed myself in an essay .

Consequently he was able to turn in a clear essay upon the subject, which, upon examination, the king found to be free from error.

It is no part of the present essay to attempt to detail the particulars of a code of social legislation.

But angels and ministers of grace defend us from ministers of religion who essay art criticism!

It is fit that the imagination, which is free to go through all things, should essay such excursions.

British Dictionary definitions for essay

a short literary composition dealing with a subject analytically or speculatively

an attempt or endeavour; effort

a test or trial

to attempt or endeavour; try

to test or try out

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for essay

A short piece of writing on one subject, usually presenting the author's own views. Michel de Montaigne , Francis Bacon (see also Bacon ), and Ralph Waldo Emerson are celebrated for their essays.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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What does the verb essay mean?

There are eight meanings listed in OED's entry for the verb essay , four of which are labelled obsolete. See ‘Meaning & use’ for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence.

Entry status

OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised.

How common is the verb essay ?

How is the verb essay pronounced, british english, u.s. english, where does the verb essay come from.

Earliest known use

Middle English

The earliest known use of the verb essay is in the Middle English period (1150—1500).

OED's earliest evidence for essay is from 1483, in the writing of William Caxton, printer, merchant, and diplomat.

essay is a variant or alteration of another lexical item; modelled on a French lexical item.

Etymons: assay v.

Nearby entries

  • esraj, n. 1921–
  • ESRO, n. 1961–
  • ess, n. 1540–
  • -ess, suffix¹
  • -ess, suffix²
  • essamplerie, n. 1393
  • essart, n. 1656–
  • essart, v. 1675–
  • essarting, n. a1821–
  • essay, n. 1597–
  • essay, v. 1483–
  • essayal, n. 1837–
  • essayer, n. 1611–
  • essayette, n. 1877–
  • essayfy, v. 1815–
  • essay-hatch, n. 1721–
  • essayical, adj. 1860–
  • essaying, n. 1861–
  • essaying, adj. 1726–
  • essayish, adj. 1863–
  • essayism, n. 1821–

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Meaning & use

Pronunciation, compounds & derived words, entry history for essay, v..

essay, v. was first published in 1891; not yet revised

essay, v. was last modified in July 2023

Revision of the OED is a long-term project. Entries in oed.com which have not been revised may include:

  • corrections and revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
  • new senses, phrases, and quotations which have been added in subsequent print and online updates.

Revisions and additions of this kind were last incorporated into essay, v. in July 2023.

Earlier versions of essay, v. were published in:

OED First Edition (1891)

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Meaning of essay in English

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  • I want to finish off this essay before I go to bed .
  • His essay was full of spelling errors .
  • Have you given that essay in yet ?
  • Have you handed in your history essay yet ?
  • I'd like to discuss the first point in your essay.
  • boilerplate
  • composition
  • dissertation
  • essay question
  • peer review
  • go for it idiom
  • go for someone
  • go out of your way idiom
  • go the extra mile idiom
  • go to great lengths idiom
  • square the circle idiom
  • step on the gas idiom
  • stick at something
  • stick to something
  • stick-to-itiveness

essay | Intermediate English

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  • Subject-Verb Agreement | Examples, Rules & Use

Subject-Verb Agreement | Examples, Rules & Use

Published on April 30, 2019 by Fiona Middleton . Revised on April 18, 2023.

Subject-verb agreement means that the subject of the sentence matches the verb describing its action. This helps your reader understand who or what is doing something and makes your writing easier to read.

First, identify the subject (the person or thing doing the action) and the verb (the action word) in a sentence. If the subject is singular, the verb describing its action should be singular. If the subject is plural , the verb should be plural.

While subject-verb agreement is easy in simple sentences like these, it can become tricky in more complex sentences. This article teaches you the most important rules and common mistakes.

Table of contents

Compound subjects, subjects separated from verbs, indefinite pronouns, subjects that come after the verb, numbers and amounts, collective and uncountable nouns, abbreviations and acronyms.

Sometimes two or more subjects are linked to one verb. These are called compound subjects. To decide whether to use a singular or plural verb, consider how the subjects are linked.

Subjects linked with “and”

When subjects are linked with and , use a plural verb.

A bicycle and a pedestrian were involved. The goose and the chickens eat early in the morning.

Exception : When the two nouns don’t refer to separate things but to a single entity, use a singular verb.

The new bed and breakfast opens this week. Macaroni and cheese is a delicious meal.

Subjects linked with “or”

When singular subjects are linked with or , either…or , nor , neither…nor , use a singular verb.

Just a card or a balloon is enough. Either the measurement or the calculation has created a problem.

If all the subjects are plural, use a plural verb.

Either the measurements or the calculations have created a problem.

If the compound subject contains both singular and plural nouns, the verb takes the form of the closest subject.

Neither the batteries nor the machine operates as intended.

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Often the verb does not directly follow the subject, which can lead to agreement mistakes. Make sure to match the verb with the correct subject, especially in long sentences with phrases or clauses in between subject and verb.

“As well as” and other tricky phrases

The phrase as well as is not the same as the conjunction and . Subjects linked by and  always take a plural verb. In contrast, phrases like as well as , in addition to , or along with are not linked to the verb. If the subject is singular, the verb should stay singular.

These refer to non-specific persons, places, and things (e.g., someone , other , anyone , anything , somewhere , every , none ).

Most indefinite pronouns are treated as singular subjects. However, some are always treated as plural, as they refer to multiple items or amounts.

Certain indefinite pronouns may be treated as either singular or plural, depending on whether they refer to multiple items or to a proportion of a single item.

Sometimes the subject follows the verb, especially when the sentence begins with there or here . In this case,  there is not the subject – the true subject should be identified and matched with the correct verb form.

There are many gaps in the literature. Here is the answer .

Note : Identifying the true subject can be difficult when using these phrases in a long sentence, which can be confusing for your readers, so be careful when starting a sentence in this way.

When using  numbers, percentages or proportions , the correct form of verb agreement depends on exactly what you’re referring to. It’s helpful to look beyond the numbers and find the true subject.

If you’re referring to a specific number or amount of something, match the verb with the noun rather than the number.

Only 25% of the measurements are reliable. Three meters of wire surrounds the core. Over 300 civilians reside in the area.

This also applies when the number refers to an unnamed noun.

I invited 10 people to the party, but only nine are coming. 30% say they will vote in the next election.

If the subject of the sentence is a number referring to a unified quantity of something, use a singular verb.

One thousand dollars is too much. In fact, 63% is a better result than expected.

Proportions

Terms that describe a proportion of something are usually followed by “of” (such as most of ). First look at the noun you are describing to determine if it’s singular or plural, then match it to the verb.

The majority of the samples are contaminated. The majority of the sample is contaminated. One third of the participants were given the placebo .

It can be hard to work out whether to treat collective and uncountable nouns as singular or plural.

Collective nouns

A collective noun refers to a group of people or things as a singular whole (e.g., population , team , committee , staff ). The form of verb depends on the style of English you are using.  US English  tends to use a singular verb, while UK English tends to use a plural verb. This also applies to the names of companies and organizations.

However, in both styles of English, this rule is somewhat flexible depending on whether you want to emphasize the actions of the collective as a whole or the individual actions of its members.

*A singular verb makes more sense here, as the emphasis is on the company as a unified entity.

**A plural verb makes more sense here, as the emphasis is on the individual staff members.

Uncountable nouns

These nouns describe abstract concepts or masses that can’t be counted (e.g., research , power , water  and vegetation ). They take a singular verb.

This  equipment is unusable. The research goes  smoothly. Water flows through the streets.

Note :  Data is technically a plural noun, but it is widely treated as an uncountable noun, so it is acceptable to use either the singular or plural verb form.

This research aims  to gather additional data on bee behaviour, which is currently lacking. Data were collected over a period of three months.

Abbreviations and acronyms usually take a singular verb. If you’re unsure, check if the full version of the acronym or abbreviation is a singular, plural or collective noun, and refer to the rules above. It’s most important to use one form of agreement consistently.

The country’s GDP correlates with its birth rate. The RPM falls rapidly. In addition to oil, HNS are a common form of cargo.

In the examples above, RPM (“revolutions per minute”) refers to a stand-alone number, so it takes a singular verb.  HNS (“hazardous and noxious substances”), on the other hand, is used to describe multiple things, so it takes a plural verb.

Sources in this article

We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.

Middleton, F. (2023, April 18). Subject-Verb Agreement | Examples, Rules & Use. Scribbr. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/verbs/subject-verb-agreement/
Aarts, B. (2011).  Oxford modern English grammar . Oxford University Press.
Butterfield, J. (Ed.). (2015).  Fowler’s dictionary of modern English usage  (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Garner, B. A. (2016).  Garner’s modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

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Fiona Middleton

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Synonyms of essay

  • as in article
  • as in attempt
  • as in to attempt
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Thesaurus Definition of essay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • dissertation
  • composition
  • prolegomenon
  • undertaking
  • trial and error
  • experimentation

Thesaurus Definition of essay  (Entry 2 of 2)

  • have a go at
  • try one's hand (at)

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb essay differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of essay are attempt , endeavor , strive , and try . While all these words mean "to make an effort to accomplish an end," essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting.

When might attempt be a better fit than essay ?

While the synonyms attempt and essay are close in meaning, attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort.

Where would endeavor be a reasonable alternative to essay ?

Although the words endeavor and essay have much in common, endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty.

When is strive a more appropriate choice than essay ?

While in some cases nearly identical to essay , strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort.

How do try and attempt relate to one another, in the sense of essay ?

Try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something.

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Cite this entry.

“Essay.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/essay. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

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Hannah Yang

words to use in an essay

Table of Contents

Words to use in the essay introduction, words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.

It’s not easy to write an academic essay .

Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.

To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.

If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.

That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.

Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.

When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:

To use the words of X

According to X

As X states

Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”

Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.

If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:

In this essay, I will…

The purpose of this essay…

This essay discusses…

In this paper, I put forward the claim that…

There are three main arguments for…

Phrases to introduce a thesis

Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.

After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.

When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:

First and foremost

First of all

To begin with

Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.

All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.

The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.

It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.

Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.

It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.

Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.

The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:

Additionally

In addition

Furthermore

Another key thing to remember

In the same way

Correspondingly

Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.

Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:

In other words

To put it another way

That is to say

To put it more simply

Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”

Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:

For instance

To give an illustration of

To exemplify

To demonstrate

As evidence

Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.

Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.

When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:

As a result

Accordingly

As you can see

This suggests that

It follows that

It can be seen that

For this reason

For all of those reasons

Consequently

Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:

What’s more

Not only…but also

Not to mention

To say nothing of

Another key point

Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.

Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:

On the one hand / on the other hand

Alternatively

In contrast to

On the contrary

By contrast

In comparison

Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.

Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:

Having said that

Differing from

In spite of

With this in mind

Provided that

Nevertheless

Nonetheless

Notwithstanding

Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.

Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.

Strong Verbs for Academic Writing

Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.

You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.

For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.

Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.

Verbs that show change:

Accommodate

Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:

Verbs that show increase:

Verbs that show decrease:

Deteriorate

Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:

Comprises of

Is composed of

Constitutes

Encompasses

Incorporates

Verbs that show a negative stance:

Misconstrue

Verbs that show a negative stance

Verbs that show a positive stance:

Substantiate

Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:

Corroborate

Demonstrate

Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:

Contemplate

Hypothesize

Investigate

Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:

Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays

You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.

However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.

Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:

Significant

Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:

Controversial

Insignificant

Questionable

Unnecessary

Unrealistic

Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:

Comprehensively

Exhaustively

Extensively

Respectively

Surprisingly

Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.

In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:

In conclusion

To summarize

In a nutshell

Given the above

As described

All things considered

Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.

In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.

To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:

Unquestionably

Undoubtedly

Particularly

Importantly

Conclusively

It should be noted

On the whole

Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.

These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.

There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.

If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.

So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?

The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.

One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.

Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.

You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.

Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.

Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

is the word essay a verb

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50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

In English, we often have to analyze data, research, or facts. Do you know how to do this effectively, while using the appropriate verbs of analysis? This list of 50 verbs of analysis in English will help you.

Note: this list is for advanced English learners (CEFR level B2 or above). All definitions are from the Cambridge Dictionary online . 

Definition: to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something.

Example: Experts agree that coffee affects the body in ways we have not yet studied.

Definition: to increase the size or effect of something.

Example: It has been shown that this drug amplifies the side effects that were experienced by patients in previous trials.

Definition: to say that something is certainly true .

Example: Smith asserts that his findings are valid, despite criticism by colleagues.

Characterizes

Definition: Something that characterizes another thing is typical of it.

Example: His early paintings are characterized by a distinctive pattern of blue and yellow.

Definition: to say that something is true or is a fact , although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it.

Example: Smith claims that the study is the first of its kind, and very different from the 2015 study he conducted.

Definition: to make something clear or easier to understand by giving more details or a simpler explanation .

Example: The professor clarified her statement with a later, more detailed, statement.

Definition: t o collect information from different places and arrange it in a book , report , or list .

Example: After compiling the data, the scientists authored a ten-page paper on their study and its findings.

Definition: to judge or decide something after thinking carefully about it.

Example: Doctor Jensen concluded that the drug wasn’t working, so he switched his patient to a new medicine.

Definition: to prove that a belief or an opinion that was previously not completely certain is true .

Example: This new data confirms the hypothesis many researchers had.

Definition: to join or be joined with something else .

Example: By including the criticisms of two researchers, Smith connects two seemingly different theories and illustrates a trend with writers of the Romanticism period.

Differentiates

Definition: to show or find the difference between things that are compared .

Example: Smith differentiates between the two theories in paragraph 4 of the second part of the study.

Definition: to reduce or be reduced in s i ze or importance .

Example: The new findings do not diminish the findings of previous research; rather, it builds on it to present a more complicated theory about the effects of global warming.

Definition: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person .

Example: The details about the improper research done by the institution discredits the institution’s newest research.

Definition: to show.

Example: Smith’s findings display the effects of global warming that have not yet been considered by other scientists.

Definition: to prove that something is not true .

Example: Scientists hope that this new research will disprove the myth that vaccines are harmful to children.

Distinguishes

Definition: to notice or understand the difference between two things, or to make one person or thing seem different from another.

Example: Our study seems similar to another one by Duke University: how can we distinguish ourselves and our research from this study?

Definition: to add more information to or explain something that you have said.

Example: In this new paper, Smith elaborates on theories she discussed in her 2012 book.

Definition:  to represent a quality or an idea exactly .

Example: Shakespeare embodies English theater, but few can understand the antiquated (old) form of English that is used in the plays.

Definition: to copy something achieved by someone else and try to do it as well as they have.

Example: Although the study emulates some of the scientific methods used in previous research, it also offers some inventive new research methods.

Definition: to improve the quality , amount , or strength of something.

Example: The pharmaceutical company is looking for ways to enhance the effectiveness of its current drug for depression.

Definition: to make something necessary , or to involve something.

Example: The scientist’s study entails several different stages, which are detailed in the report.

Definition: to consider one thing to be the same as or equal to another thing.

Example: Findings from both studies equate; therefore, we can conclude that they are both accurate.

Establishes

Definition: to discover or get proof of something.

Example: The award establishes the main causes of global warming.

Definition: to make someone remember something or feel an emotion .

Example: The artist’s painting evokes the work of some of the painters from the early 1800s.

Definition: to show something.

Example: Some of the research study participants exhibit similar symptoms while taking the medicine.

Facilitates

Definition: to make something possible or easier .

Example: The equipment that facilitates the study is expensive and of high-quality.

Definition: the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest .

Example: The author focuses on World War II, which is an era she hasn’t written about before.

Foreshadows

Definition: to act as a warning or sign of a future event .

Example: The sick bird at the beginning of the novel foreshadows the illness the main character develops later in the book.

Definition: to develop all the details of a plan for doing something.

Example: Two teams of scientists formulated the research methods for the study.

Definition: to cause something to exist .

Example: The study’s findings have generated many questions about this new species of frog in South America.

Definition:   to attract attention to or emphasize something important .

Example: The author, Dr. Smith, highlights the need for further studies on the possible causes of cancer among farm workers.

Definition: to recognize a problem , need, fact , etc. and to show that it exists .

Example: Through this study, scientists were able to identify three of the main factors causing global warming.

Illustrates

Definition:   to show the meaning or truth of something more clearly , especially by giving examples .

Example: Dr. Robin’s study illustrates the need for more research on the effects of this experimental drug.

Definition: to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly .

Example: The study implies that there are many outside factors (other than diet and exercise) which determine a person’s tendency to gain weight.

Incorporates

Definition: to include something as part of something larger .

Example: Dr. Smith incorporates research findings from 15 other studies in her well-researched paper.

Definition: to show, point , or make clear in another way.

Example: Overall, the study indicates that there is no real danger (other than a lack of sleep) to drinking three cups of coffee per day.

Definition: to form an opinion or guess that something is true because of the information that you have.

Example: From this study about a new medicine, we can infer that it will work similarly to other drugs that are currently being sold.

Definition: to tell someone about parti c ular facts .

Example: Dr. Smith informs the reader that there are some issues with this study: the oddly rainy weather in 2017 made it difficult for them to record the movements of the birds they were studying.

Definition: to suggest , without being direct , that something unpleasant is true .

Example: In addition to the reported conclusions, the study insinuates that there are many hidden dangers to driving while texting.

Definition: to combine two or more things in order to become more effective .

Example: The study about the popularity of social media integrates Facebook and Instagram hashtag use.

Definition: to not have or not have enough of something that is needed or wanted .

Example: What the study lacks, I believe, is a clear outline of the future research that is needed.

Legitimizes

Definition: to make something legal or acceptable .

Example: Although the study legitimizes the existence of global warming, some will continue to think it is a hoax.

Definition: to make a problem bigger or more important .

Example: In conclusion, the scientists determined that the new pharmaceutical actually magnifies some of the symptoms of anxiety.

Definition: something that a copy can be based on because it is an extremely good example of its type .

Example: The study models a similar one from 1973, which needed to be redone with modern equipment.

Definition: to cause something to have no effect .

Example: This negates previous findings that say that sulphur in wine gives people headaches.

Definition: to not give enough c a re or attention to people or things that are your responsibility .

Example: The study neglects to mention another study in 2015 that had very different findings.

Definition: to make something difficult to discover and understand .

Example: The problems with the equipment obscures the study.

Definition: a description of the main facts about something.

Example: Before describing the research methods, the researchers outline the need for a study on the effects of anti-anxiety medication on children.

Definition:   to fail to notice or consider something or someone.

Example: I personally feel that the study overlooks something very important: the participants might have answered some of the questions incorrectly.

Definition: to happen at the same time as something else , or be similar or equal to something else .

Example: Although the study parallels the procedures of a 2010 study, it has very different findings.

Converse International School of Languages offers an English for Academic Purposes course for students interested in improving their academic English skills. Students may take this course, which is offered in the afternoon for 12 weeks, at both CISL San Diego and CISL San Francisco . EAP course graduates can go on to CISL’s Aca demic Year Abroad program, where students attend one semester at a California Community College. Through CISL’s University Pathway program, EAP graduates may also attend college or university at one of CISL’s Pathway Partners. See the list of 25+ partners on the CISL website . Contact CISL for more information. 

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is the word essay a verb

How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be.

The hardest skill students learn is how to replace the verb “to be.”  Yet is it the single most important skill for improving the verbs in their writing.

The problem is that the verb “to be” rarely has strong synonyms. As a linking verb it can sometimes be replaced with another linking verb.  “He is sick” can become “He looks sick” or “He feels sick” or “He seems sick.”  But none of those replacements is much stronger than the original verb, “is.”

Change common verbs to more expressive verbs.

An excerpt of a third grader’s revised essay.

Even harder is when the verb identifies something that exists.  How do you restate, “That dog is mine.”  “That dog was mine,” changes just the verb tense; it is the same verb.  “That dog becomes mine,” changes the meaning.

What I tell my students is that usually they will need to replace not just the verb, but the whole sentence.  I ask them to tell me what the sentence means, using other words.  For the sentence, “He is sick,” I ask how they know he is sick.  What does he look like that would let me know he is sick?  They might say, “His face is red and he has a fever.”  I might say, “That’s good, but you are still using the word is.  How can you tell me that his face is red and that he has a fever without using the word ‘is’”?  Usually they are stumped, so I offer suggestions.  “His mother placed an ice bag on his flushed forehead.”  Or, “’Wow!  101 degrees,’ said his mother shaking the thermometer.”   Or, “The feverish boy lay down on the cold tile floor, moving every few seconds to chill his hot body.”

The trick is to let the reader see, hear, touch, smell or taste (usually see) what the writer saw in his mind before he wrote, “He is sick.”  “He is sick” is a conclusion based on certain facts.  What are the facts that led the writer to conclude that “He is sick”? Those facts are what the reader needs to know so that the reader can come to his own conclusion that “He is sick.”

We’ll have more blogs on changing the verb “to be” in the future because it is such a vital part of improving writing, yet such a difficult skill to master.  For now, we’ll move on to the next blog about sentence beginnings.

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2 responses to “ How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be. ”

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Hi, I’m looking for a writing tutor for my 10 year old daughter. One who could grow in the language arts especially in writing. I like your edited writing excerpt, even though i know english as my second language. My deepest desire is to see my daughter Laura to excel in language arts learning. Do you think i could hrar from you? We live in Ventura.

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Excellent article……simply outstanding

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is the word essay a verb

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is the word essay a verb

You may think revising means finding grammar and spelling mistakes when it really means rewriting—moving ideas around, adding more details, using specific verbs, varying your sentence structures and adding figurative language. Learn how to improve your writing with these rewriting ideas and more. Click on the photo For more details.

is the word essay a verb

Comical stories, repetitive phrasing, and expressive illustrations engage early readers and build reading confidence. Each story includes easy to pronounce two-, three-, and four-letter words which follow the rules of phonics. The result is a fun reading experience leading to comprehension, recall, and stimulating discussion. Each story is true children’s literature with a beginning, a middle and an end. Each book also contains a "fun and games" activity section to further develop the beginning reader's learning experience.

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is the word essay a verb

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Commenting on developments in the English language

is the word essay a verb

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

Listen to the author reading this blog post:

A young woman looking thoughtful. Above her head are two speech bubbles, reading "infinitive" and "-ing". She is deciding whether to use the infinitive or -ing form of a verb.

by  Liz Walter

Look at these two English sentences:

I agreed to pay for the damage.

He denied stealing the money.

You will see that each sentence has two verbs, but that the form of the second verb is different. In the first sentence, it is an infinitive with to ( to pay ), and in the second, it has an -ing form ( stealing ).

So how do you know which form to use? Unfortunately, there is no easy rule, but you can check in a dictionary such as the Cambridge Dictionary. For instance, if you click here on the word deserve , you will see the note [+ to infinitive] in front of the example with two verbs. Similarly, if you look at the entry for fancy , you will see the note [+ -ing verb].

The dictionary is very useful in this way, but in order to avoid errors, it is best to learn the patterns of very common verbs. For instance, you need to use a to-infinitive after decide , promise , want , need and many other common verbs:

They decided to take the train.

They decided take/taking the train.

Note that in negative sentences, not comes before the to-infinitive:

They decided not to take the train.

They decided to not take the train.

Similarly, the verbs avoid , finish , imagine and several others need an -ing verb, and you would lose marks in an exam for using an infinitive:

I try to avoid buying too many clothes.

I try to avoid buy/to buy too many clothes.

So far, we have looked at verbs that are followed immediately by another verb, but you also need to know the patterns for verbs that are followed by an object and then another verb.

For instance, advise , encourage , and invite need a to-infinitive for the verbs after the object, while verbs such as hear , prevent , and see need an -ing verb. Again, you can use the Cambridge Dictionary to check the patterns:

We advised them to leave immediately.

We advised them leave/leaving immediately.

They tried to stop us entering the building.

They tried to stop us enter/to enter the building.

It is also worth learning that the common verbs let and make (in the sense of ‘force’) need an infinitive without ‘to’ for the verb that follows them:

The teacher made her sit down.

The teacher made her to sit down.

In my next post, I will look at some tricky verbs that have different patterns according to their meaning, as well as verbs that are followed with a that clause or by two objects.

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2 thoughts on “ Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1) ”

Good and useful information. Thanks

Cambridge Online Dictionary has helped me out so much to level up on my spelling,pronunciation as well as grammar points like this.As an English international student,I’d like to recommend it for learns willing to spruce their English skills up.

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Definition of essay verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

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is the word essay a verb

The irregular verb to be is the most complicated of all the English verbs—and it just so happens to be the most used, too. The to be verbs are am , are , is , was , and were , along with the bare infinitive be , the present participle being , and the past participle been . 

In this guide, we explain all you need to know about grammar for the verb to be . We’ll share all the forms and when to use them and give to be examples for each type of usage. 

Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

What are the to be verbs?

Here ’ s a quick list of the to be verbs and their functions:

The verb to be means to exist ( I am here ), to occur ( The meeting is Tuesday ), or to have the characteristics of something ( She was a quiet child ). It is the most common verb in English, partly because of its additional uses in grammar : to be verbs can be auxiliary verbs that help create other tenses or linking verbs that help describe the subject of a sentence. 

As an irregular verb , to be has its own unique forms. When conjugated for different subjects or tenses, the verb to be can become am , are , is , was , or were . It’s also written differently in certain verb tenses : The present participle of to be is being . The past participle is been , and the bare infinitive form is be .  

Forms of to be verbs

Simple present and past tenses.

The verb to be is most commonly used in the simple present and simple past tenses. These tenses each use their own special words for to be , depending on the person and number of the subject. 

Simple present tense

Simple past tense

The simple present and simple past tenses of to be are also used as auxiliary verbs to create the present continuous and past continuous tenses , which show an ongoing or continuous action. 

As with other tenses, in the continuous tenses, to be verbs are still conjugated to match the subject. The main verb of the sentence comes after to be and is always in its present participle form (the – ing form), regardless of the subject. 

[conjugated to be ] + [present participle]

The present continuous uses the simple present tense of to be verbs ( am , are , and is ):

We are driving home right now . 

The past continuous uses the simple past ( was and were ): 

We were driving for hours yesterday . 

Simple future and modal forms

The future tenses do not conjugate to be like the past and present do. The simple future tense uses the modal verb will , and all modal verbs use the bare infinitive form of the main verb, regardless of the subject. The bare infinitive of to be is just be , without to . The simple future tense of to be looks like this:

I will be in Medellin tomorrow. 

The future continuous tense includes a main verb that comes after will be . 

I will be flying to Medellin tomorrow. 

We use the bare infinitive be with all modal verbs , such as can , should , might , or must . Simply add be after the modal verb or after the negative word if the sentence is negative.

You can be anything if you try. 

He must be exhausted after that. 

They should not be here. 

Present participle 

What if you want to use to be as the main verb in a continuous tense? In this case, you would use to be twice: first as an auxiliary verb and second as a present participle. 

Don’t listen to me: I am being paranoid. 

This works for the present and past continuous tenses, but we generally avoid using to be as the main verb in the future continuous—the simple future works fine in this situation. 

[INCORRECT] I will be being hungry tomorrow. 

[CORRECT] I will be hungry tomorrow. 

Past participle 

The perfect tenses use a conjugated form of the auxiliary verb have with the past participle of the main verb afterward. 

[conjugated have ] + [past participle]

The past participle of to be is been , used if to be is the main verb in a perfect tense. The present perfect tense uses have or has , while the past perfect uses had :

I have been tired since my first day of school. 

It had been a bad day even before it started raining. 

To be grammar rules

1 subject-verb agreement.

All verbs must agree with their subjects, something called subject-verb agreement . This means that the verb’s person and number must match the subject’s . So if the subject is first person and singular ( I ), the verb must be first person and singular ( am ). 

[INCORRECT] Felipe am class president. 

[INCORRECT] Felipe are class president. 

[CORRECT] Felipe is class president. 

Most regular verbs change only for third-person singular subjects in the present tense, but to be is more complicated because it has more forms than other verbs. 

One particularly difficult area of subject-verb agreement concerns when to use there is vs. there are which we cover in detail here . To summarize, when it follows there , the verb to be matches the number of the noun after it and not that of the subject. 

[INCORRECT] There is the ducks. 

[CORRECT] There are the ducks.  

2 Negatives

While writing negative verbs can be confusing, it’s fairly simple with the to be verbs. In the present and past tenses, put the negative word immediately after to be . 

You are not my enemy. 

She was never on time. 

For future tenses, put the negative word after will and before the bare infinitive be . 

We will not be attending. 

Don’t forget that you can use contractions with to be verbs. These are especially common in speech. 

This isn’t my cup of tea. 

It won’t be long now. 

3 Questions

The verb to be also follows its own rules for questions (interrogative sentences). While other verbs use the auxiliary verb to do for yes-no questions, to be does not. However, like other verbs, to be still comes before the subject in yes-no questions, even when it’s used as an auxiliary verb. 

Is that allowed? 

Were you listening?

Are they going now? 

Examples of the verb to be in sentences

To be : present tense .

She is a natural-born leader. 

I am freezing in this outfit. 

To be : past tense 

We were in danger without even knowing it. 

It was the best night of the trip. 

To be : present perfect tense 

You have been quiet tonight. 

Umar has been our team captain for two years. 

To be : past perfect tense 

She had been a waitress for years before they promoted her to manager. 

I had forgotten the answer when I was taking the test. 

To be : present continuous tense 

He is studying , so don’t bother him. 

You are being awfully suspicious. 

To be : past continuous tense 

We were watching TV when the earthquake started. 

She was being as polite as possible. 

To be : future tenses 

You will be sore after exercising with me! 

Their plane will be landing shortly. 

To be : modal verbs 

I might be wrong. 

If you lived here, you would be home right now. 

Questions using to be verbs

Is this the right room? 

Was that red light always flashing? 

Negatives with to be verbs

We are not making enough progress. 

She had never been dumped before. 

Imperative to be verbs

Be a friend and pay for dinner. 

Don’t be a stranger!

To be verbs FAQs

What is the verb to be .

The verb to be means to exist, occur, or show the characteristics of something. An irregular verb, it is the most common verb in English and can function as a main verb, an auxiliary verb, or a linking verb. 

How do to be verbs work?

Subject-verb agreement says that a verb must match the number and person of the subject, so if the subject is third-person plural (for example, they ), the verb must also be third-person plural (like are or were ). There are three forms of to be verbs in the present ( am , are , and is ) and two forms in the past ( was and were ). 

What are the most common tenses of to be verbs?

The past and present tenses are the most common for to be verbs. Additionally, as an auxiliary verb, to be is necessary to create the continuous tenses.

is the word essay a verb

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Is the Word “Is” a Verb?

Is the Word “Is” a Verb?

  • 2-minute read
  • 27th August 2022

Some words in English are so common that we might easily forget which part of speech they are. “Is” is one of these words that is tricky to label. Believe it or not, “is” is a verb, but it can easily be mistaken for another part of speech because it doesn’t follow the same rules as many other verbs. Read on for a deeper look into the function of the word “is.”

Though “is” is classified as a verb, it doesn’t describe an action as many other verbs do. “Is” is known as a state of being verb, which means it refers to the existence of something. The most common state of being verb is “to be,” and “is” is a derivative of this verb.

“To be” is an irregular verb, and its conjugations vary widely:

“Is” is the third person singular form of “to be” in the present tense. We use “is” with the subjects he , she , and it to describe mood, nationality, occupation, and more. Here are some examples:

He is a doctor.

She is Australian.

It is on the table.

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Auxiliary Verbs

To add some confusion to the mix, “to be” can also function as an auxiliary verb , which is a verb that goes in front of another verb to add meaning to a sentence. Auxiliary verbs can help form the tense, mood, or voice of a sentence. The duty of “is” as an auxiliary verb is often to create the present progressive tense:

Sandra is going to the baseball game.

The cat is chasing the mouse.

It’s also used to form the passive voice:

The cake is being eaten by the guests.

Proofreading and Editing

“To be” is one of the most common verbs in English, so it’s essential to learn all of its conjugations. To make sure you’re using “is” and the other forms of “to be” correctly in your writing, it’s helpful to have someone proofread [PI1]  and edit [PI2]  your work. You can try it by sending in a free 500-word sample to our expert editors today!

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‘Architecton' Review: Victor Kossakovsky's Magnetic Film Essay Reflects On Man's Relationship With Nature – Berlin Film Festival

It's very easy to misread the title of Victor Kossakovsky's latest documentary as "Architection," since it is, in some ways, a detective story about the world we live in, albeit one in which it is very easy to figure out whodunit (spoiler: we did it to ourselves). The actual title, Architecton , is a Greek word that means "master builder," and the film plays with the irony of what that may mean - pitting the "master builders" of yesteryear against the "master builders" of today - from the very beginning, using a cryptic line from "L'aquilone," a rumination on bygone times by Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912). "There is something new within the sun today, or rather ancient," he writes. This fascinating, engrossing film interrogates the subtext of this seemingly paradoxical statement.

In a haunting prolog, we see the ruins of a housing estate in what is presumably war-torn Ukraine (Kossakovsky doesn't always tell you where his cameras are pointing). A drone soars above the carnage, revealing the extent of the damage to buildings where people once lived. The evidence of their having been there now seems almost pathetic; these spaces seem barely adequate for existence, let alone survival. It's the ugly, ignominious end of an ugly, ignominious building, but Kossakovsky's seemingly cryptic tone-poem film is just dangling that idea in front of us as an aperitif.

The film itself starts with a very strange ritual; an unnamed architect (later revealed to be Michele De Lucchi, another Italian) is building a stone circle in his garden. There is no purpose to this object other than to be a human-free zone: once completed, only De Lucchi's dog is to be allowed within it.

While all this is going on, Kossakovsky's roving eye takes us around the world, in a travelogue that shows us the resilience of the old world versus the transience of the modern. It shows the poetics of ruin, but it is a cycle with diminishing returns; the debris of the Romans and Greeks still has a grandeur and majesty that is missing from the shabby detritus of the modern world, as we see in the aftermath of the earthquake that laid waste to Turkey in the summer of last year.

For a time, the closest comparison is Godfrey Reggio's 1982 masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi (the title being a native-American Hopi word meaning "Life out of balance"), and Kossakovsky uses music to similar, hypnotic effect. He also goes beyond architecture to take us into the secret world of rocks and stones, and his stunning close-up shots of landslides are some of the best action scenes of the year so far. Gradually, this reveals a narrative purpose; alongside scenes of ruins ancient and modern, Kossakovsky takes us into the production of concrete, a process that takes beautiful stones of all colors, shapes and sizes, then transforms them into an unlovable gray and miserable sludge.

It's all very gnomic, but Kossakovsky can't help but blurt his thoughts out in the epilogue, with a thesis that is really very simple: "Why do we build ugly, boring buildings when we know how to make beautiful ones?"

De Lucchi, a wonderfully lugubrious presence, knows this very well, and speaks quite candidly about his own complicity in this increasingly prevalent anti-aesthetic, saying that, as a global entity, we need to think about "what we build that nourishes the planet and what we build that will destroy it… Architecture is a way to think about how we live, how we behave."

Such a concept isn't all that new - it's over 100 years since Le Corbusier declared that "a house is machine for living in" - but Kossakovsky's fascinating, magnetic film essay does help us to reassess what we've lost over the centuries. And, best of all, it isn't depressing; like Reggio's film, it is a warning sounded in the good faith of being heard in the nick of time.

Architecton verbalizes something we are all thinking in the modern age of war and climate change: what will we leave behind, and what will it say about us to future generations? We can only pray that they'll think of us kindly.

Title: Architecton Festival:  Berlin (Competition) Distributor: A24 Sales agent: The Match Factory Director: Victor Kossakovsky Running time:  1 hr 38 min

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Guest Essay

I’m a Neuroscientist. We’re Thinking About Biden’s Memory and Age in the Wrong Way.

President Biden seated in a chair holding a stack of what looks like index cards.

By Charan Ranganath

Dr. Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of the forthcoming book “Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters.”

The special counsel Robert K. Hur’s report, in which he declined to prosecute President Biden for his handling of classified documents, also included a much-debated assessment of Mr. Biden’s cognitive abilities.

“Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

As an expert on memory, I can assure you that everyone forgets. In fact, most of the details of our lives — the people we meet, the things we do and the places we go — will inevitably be reduced to memories that capture only a small fraction of those experiences.

It is normal to be more forgetful as you get older. Generally, memory functions begin to decline in our 30s and continue to fade into old age. However, age in and of itself doesn’t indicate the presence of memory deficits that would affect an individual’s ability to perform in a demanding leadership role. And an apparent memory lapse may or may not be consequential, depending on the reasons it occurred.

There is forgetting, and there is Forgetting. If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve most likely experienced the frustration of trying to grasp that slippery word on the tip of your tongue. Colloquially, this might be described as forgetting, but most memory scientists would call this retrieval failure, meaning that the memory is there but we just can’t pull it up when we need it. On the other hand, Forgetting (with a capital F) is when a memory is seemingly lost or gone altogether. Inattentively conflating the names of the leaders of two countries would fall in the first category, whereas being unable to remember that you had ever met the president of Egypt would fall into the second.

Over the course of typical aging, we see changes in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, a brain area that plays a starring role in many of our day-to-day memory successes and failures. These changes mean that as we get older, we tend to be more distractible and often struggle to pull up words or names we’re looking for. Remembering events takes longer, and it requires more effort, and we can’t catch errors as quickly as we used to. This translates to a lot more forgetting and a little more Forgetting.

Many of the special counsel’s observations about Mr. Biden’s memory seem to fall in the category of forgetting, meaning that they are more indicative of a problem with finding the right information from memory than Forgetting. Calling up the date that an event occurred, like the last year of Mr. Biden’s vice presidency or the year of his son’s death, is a complex measure of memory. Remembering that an event took place is different from being able to put a date on when it happened, which is more challenging with increased age. The president very likely has many memories, even though he could not immediately pull up dates in the stressful (and more immediately pressing) context of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Other “memory” issues highlighted in the media are not so much cases of forgetting as they are of difficulties in the articulation of facts and knowledge. For instance, in July 2023, Mr. Biden mistakenly stated in a speech that “we have over 100 people dead,” when he should have said, “over one million.” He has struggled with a stutter since childhood, and research suggests that managing a stutter demands prefrontal resources that would normally enable people to find the right word or at least quickly correct errors after the fact.

Americans are understandably concerned about the advanced age of the two top contenders in the coming presidential election (Mr. Biden is 81, and Donald Trump is 77), although some of these concerns are rooted in cultural stereotypes and fears around aging. The fact is that there is a huge degree of variability in cognitive aging. Age is, on average, associated with decreased memory, but studies that follow up the same person over several years have shown that although some older adults show precipitous declines over time, other super-agers remain as sharp as ever.

Mr. Biden is the same age as Harrison Ford, Paul McCartney and Martin Scorsese. He’s also a bit younger than Jane Fonda (86) and a lot younger than the Berkshire Hathaway C.E.O., Warren Buffett (93). All these individuals are considered to be at the top of their professions, and yet I would not be surprised if they are more forgetful and absent-minded than when they were younger. In other words, an individual’s age does not say anything definitive about the person’s cognitive status or where it will head in the near future.

I can’t speak to the cognitive status of any of the presidential candidates, but I can say that, rather than focus on candidates’ ages per se, we should consider whether they have the capabilities to do the job. Public perception of a person’s cognitive state is often determined by superficial factors, such as physical presence, confidence and verbal fluency, but these aren’t necessarily relevant to one’s capacity to make consequential decisions about the fate of this country. Memory is surely relevant, but other characteristics, such as knowledge of the relevant facts and emotion regulation — both of which are relatively preserved and might even improve with age — are likely to be of equal or greater importance.

Ultimately, we are due for a national conversation about what we should expect in terms of the cognitive and emotional health of our leaders.

And that should be informed by science, not politics.

Charan Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of “ Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters .”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , X and Threads .

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  2. Essay Past Tense: Verb Forms, Conjugate ESSAY

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  3. Essay Past Tense: Verb Forms, Conjugate ESSAY

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COMMENTS

  1. Essay Definition & Meaning

    verb es· say e-ˈsā ə-ˈsā, ˈe-ˌsā essayed; essaying; essays transitive verb 1 : to make an often tentative or experimental effort to perform : try 2 : to put to a test essayer noun Synonyms Noun

  2. To 'Essay' or To 'Assay'?

    To 'essay' is a verb meaning 'to try, attempt, or undertake.' To 'assay' is to 'to test or evaluate.' 'Essay' also has the meaning referring to those short papers you had to write in school on various topics.

  3. ESSAY Definition & Usage Examples

    es·say·er, noun pre·es·say, verb (used without object)

  4. ESSAY

    verb [ T ] old-fashioned uk / eˈseɪ / us / eˈseɪ / to try to do something: The procedure was first essayed in 1923. SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases (Definition of essay from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press) essay | American Dictionary essay noun [ C ] us / ˈes·eɪ / Add to word list

  5. differences

    6 Both have the same root, the French essai (trial). As verbs with the meaning of "attempt or try", the New Oxford American Dictionary marks essay as "formal", and assay as "archaic". Apart from that, they are synonymous (and both antiquated).

  6. Verbs: What Are They and How Do You Use Them?

    Verbs are words that describe actions, whether physical or mental. Verbs also describe a "state of being," like the verbs be, become, or exist. Salah ran across the field, kicked the ball, and scored a goal. "I am the State." —King Louis XIV Some verbs also act as "helper verbs" to change the tense of another verb.

  7. Verbs: Types of Verbs, Definition and Examples

    A verb is a word that denotes action or a state of being. As a part of speech in grammar, a verb is the action in the sentence. Along with a noun, the verb is a critical component of a complete sentence. Somebody (noun) does something (verb).

  8. essay, v. meanings, etymology and more

    The earliest known use of the verb essay is in the Middle English period (1150—1500). OED's earliest evidence for essay is from 1483, in the writing of William Caxton, printer, merchant, and diplomat. essay is a variant or alteration of another lexical item; modelled on a French lexical item.

  9. ESSAY definition and meaning

    essay in British English. noun (ˈɛseɪ , for senses 2, 3 also ɛˈseɪ ) 1. a short literary composition dealing with a subject analytically or speculatively. 2. an attempt or endeavour; effort. 3. a test or trial.

  10. ESSAY

    verb [ T ] old-fashioned us / eˈseɪ / uk / eˈseɪ / to try to do something: The procedure was first essayed in 1923. SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases (Definition of essay from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press) essay | Intermediate English essay noun [ C ] us / ˈes·eɪ / Add to word list

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    Britannica Dictionary definition of ESSAY. [count] : a short piece of writing that tells a person's thoughts or opinions about a subject. Your assignment is to write a 500-word essay on one of Shakespeare's sonnets. The book is a collection of his previously unpublished essays on/about a variety of topics. 2 essay /ɛ ˈ seɪ/ verb.

  12. How To Use "Essay" In A Sentence: In-Depth Exploration

    2. As a verb: Although less common, "essay" can also be used as a verb. When used in this way, it means to make an attempt or try something. It implies a deliberate effort to accomplish a task or achieve a goal. Example sentences: He decided to essay a new approach to solving the problem. She essayed to climb the treacherous mountain peak. 3.

  13. What Is a Verb?

    A verb is a word that describes what the subject of a sentence is doing. Verbs can indicate (physical or mental) actions, occurrences, and states of being. Examples: Verbs in a sentence Jeffrey builds a house. Anita is thinking about horses. True love exists. Every sentence must have at least one verb.

  14. essay_1 noun

    verb + essay. do; write; finish … essay + verb ... Word Origin late 15th cent. (as a verb in the sense 'test the quality of'): alteration of assay, by association with Old French essayer, based on late Latin exagium 'weighing', from the base of exigere 'ascertain, weigh'; the noun (late 16th cent.) is from Old French essai ...

  15. Subject-Verb Agreement

    Revised on April 18, 2023. Subject-verb agreement means that the subject of the sentence matches the verb describing its action. This helps your reader understand who or what is doing something and makes your writing easier to read. First, identify the subject (the person or thing doing the action) and the verb (the action word) in a sentence.

  16. ESSAY Synonyms: 76 Similar and Opposite Words

    noun Definition of essay 1 as in article a short piece of writing typically expressing a point of view school essays on what it means to be a patriot Synonyms & Similar Words Relevance article paper dissertation theme thesis composition treatise editorial column report commentary feature study review discussion write-up discourse causerie tract

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    In other words, over half the students wanted more dormitory options.". Often, you'll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you're about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words: For instance. To give an illustration of. To exemplify.

  18. 50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

    50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays In English, we often have to analyze data, research, or facts. Do you know how to do this effectively, while using the appropriate verbs of analysis? This list of 50 verbs of analysis in English will help you. Note: this list is for advanced English learners (CEFR level B2 or above).

  19. How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be

    As a linking verb it can sometimes be replaced with another linking verb. "He is sick" can become "He looks sick" or "He feels sick" or "He seems sick." But none of those replacements is much stronger than the original verb, "is." An excerpt of a third grader's revised essay. Even harder is when the verb identifies something that exists.

  20. Infinitive or -ing verb?

    So far, we have looked at verbs that are followed immediately by another verb, but you also need to know the patterns for verbs that are followed by an object and then another verb. For instance, advise, encourage, and invite need a to-infinitive for the verbs after the object, while verbs such as hear, prevent, and see need an -ing verb. Again ...

  21. essay_2 verb

    essay something to try to do something Word Origin late 15th cent. (as a verb in the sense 'test the quality of'): alteration of assay , by association with Old French essayer , based on late Latin exagium 'weighing', from the base of exigere 'ascertain, weigh'; the noun (late 16th cent.) is from Old French essai 'trial'.

  22. PDF Powerful Verbs for Essays

    Microsoft Word - Powerful Verbs for Essays.doc Powerful Verbs for Weaving Ideas in Essays The following verbs are helpful as a means of showing how an example or quote in literature Supports an idea or interpretation. Example + Verb + Explanation or Significance (CD) (CM)

  23. The Verb "To Be" Explained, With Examples

    The irregular verb to be is the most complicated of all the English verbs—and it just so happens to be the most used, too. The to be verbs are am, are, is, was, and were, along with the bare infinitive be, the present participle being, and the past participle been. In this guide, we explain all you need to know about grammar for the verb to be.

  24. Is the Word "Is" a Verb?

    Read on for a deeper look into the function of the word "is." To Be. Though "is" is classified as a verb, it doesn't describe an action as many other verbs do. "Is" is known as a state of being verb, which means it refers to the existence of something. The most common state of being verb is "to be," and "is" is a ...

  25. JOY'S ESSAY ON WORKPLACE HARASSMENT: After Joy Behar ...

    JOY'S ESSAY ON WORKPLACE HARASSMENT: After Joy Behar penned a new essay on her experience with harassment in the workplace when she was a teacher in the 60s, #TheView co-hosts discuss.abcn.ws/2RiH3wd

  26. 'Architecton' Review: Victor Kossakovsky's Magnetic Film Essay ...

    The actual title, Architecton, is a Greek word that means "master builder," and the film plays with the irony of what that may mean - pitting the "master builders" of yesteryear against the ...

  27. Opinion

    Guest Essay. I'm a Neuroscientist. We're Thinking About Biden's Memory and Age in the Wrong Way. ... In other words, an individual's age does not say anything definitive about the person ...