Imminent vs. Eminent

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Wonder what the difference is between imminent and eminent and how you can remember which is which? Never fear! This post will clear up your word choice questions.

imminent: ready to take place

Imminent usage
Imminent is an adjective that describes something (such as an event) that is going to happen soon. It can be negative or positive.

Examples:
One cannot dismiss the imminent danger of climate change.
Al has only three pieces of the jigsaw puzzle left. Completion is imminent.

eminent: standing out so as to be readily perceived or noted; conspicuous

Eminent usage
Eminent is an adjective that describes something (such as a person) that is famous and popular (the best in a category). It is usually positive.

Examples:
Heath is the eminent researcher in his field.
The new skyscraper has become the eminent symbol of the town.

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Remember the difference
To tell imminent and eminent apart, think that imminent means immediate. (In actuality, the event imminent describes doesn’t have to happen right away, but simply soon. Still, it helps as a mnemonic.)

Quiz
Test your imminent and eminent skills with a quiz. The answers are at the end.

  1. After winning the award, Dottie was known as the _______ chef in town.
  2. Daryl’s bad test score meant failing the class was _______.
  3. The thought of the _______ glee the cookies will bring made Kevin smile.
  4. The _______ product sold the most units.

Answers: 1. eminent 2. imminent 3. imminent 4. eminent

 

Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of editing, coaching, and social media packages.

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3 thoughts on “Imminent vs. Eminent

  1. After winning the award, Dottie was known as the eminent chef in town.
    Daryl’s bad test score meant failing the class was imminent.
    The thought of the imminent glee the cookies will bring made Kevin smile.
    The eminent product sold the most units.

    I checked with this tool (http://www.grammerchecker.org/) and results were good. Did I use the words right?

    Like

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