Amend versus Emend

What is the Difference Between Amend and Emend?


When to Use Amend

Amend (pronounced uh-mend), which is the older of the two English words, is a verb, meaning to change for the better or add to; to alter the working to make more suitable, accurate, acceptable, up-to-date, etc.

  • Have you amended your will to reflect these changes?

    To amend something is to try to make it better by changing the way it currently is. The most common use of it is in government where politicians will amend laws. They do this oftentimes by proposing amendments. Amendment is the noun form of the verb amend.

    Amend is also commonly used in contexts of personal behavior.

  • If you can amend his mindset, he will become successful.

    When to Use Emend

    The word emend (pronounced ih-mend) is also a verb, meaning to correct text; to improve by critical editing.

  • After proofing the text, I emended several types.

    Summary

    The two words emend vs. amend cannot be used interchangeably in all contexts, so it’s important we know when to use which word.

    Amend is to change something, usually a document or personal behavior, to make it better.

    Emend is to correct something, usually in a text, to fix an error.

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