Easily Confused Words: Peruse vs. Pursue

Peruse and pursue are easily confused words. The spell-check of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up among these two words. As long as it’s a word and it is spelled correctly, spell-check keeps on scanning the document.

Peruse is a verb. It means to glance over printed material or images, look through items, but not too closely or with a specific intent. For example, how patients look at magazines or items on their phones in the doctor’s office as they wait to be seen, like how shoppers browse through hanging items at a store.

Pursue is a verb, it means to follow someone or something with determination. The parent trying to keep a child out of the street. The police seeking a speeding vehicle. Pursuit is the noun referring to the chase.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

Shopping is somewhat of a universal sport. While many peruse, a few strictly pursue and acquire just what they wanted.

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One thought on “Easily Confused Words: Peruse vs. Pursue

  1. Hey, Kathleen!
    First of all I was paused to see what your profile background looked like.Awesome.
    I am curious to know the difference to know these difference because I thought that my English faculty and the president of my college both committed a mistake by using persue instead of pursue, but they used it wrong.
    I am impressed by your answer you presented above. Thank You!

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