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Similar Sounding Confusing Words: Adopt and Adapt

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The words adopt and adapt are not pronounced in the same manner. The 'o' in adopt is different from the 'a' in adapt. Yet, people get confused between these two words. Their meanings and usage are entirely different.

The word adopt is a verb. Meanings: accept; take on; take up; agree to; implement.
Antonym: reject.

The word adapt is a verb that can be used in different ways.
(a) In one sense the meanings of adapt are: become accustomed; familiarize yourself; get a feel for; acclimatize; adjust; settle in.

(b) In another sense the meanings of adapt are: change; alter; modify; amend.


Sample Usage

Examples of adopt:
1. The Principal decided to adopt a hard stance and punish the seniors for ragging the new students.
2. More and more single working ladies are taking a decision to adopt a child.
3. It was absurd to adopt a wait-and-see policy on such an important issue.


Examples of adapt:
(a) 1. Ravi was willing to adapt to the new job changes.
2. Shilpa found it difficult to adapt to the local customs of the new town.
3. The guest was unwilling to adapt to the change in hotel facilities.

(b) 1. To adapt the rules was not in the best interest of the students.
2. The boss decided to adapt the company payment policies to benefit all the staff.
3. It is a good idea to adapt the laws to the changing circumstances.

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