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Question: “How do we use the word emphasize?”

Guard house in Seoul KoreaWe use “emphasize” when we want to give something special importance. Let’s say I feel it is very important for students to study the last section of chapter 4. I can tell them, “I want you to study the last section of chapter 4.”  But if I really want them to understand how important it is to study the last section, I will say something like, “I want to emphasize the importance of studying the last section of chapter 4.”  Now I have given special importance to studying the last section of chapter 4.

We can also use the word when something defines something else more clearly.  For example: “The flowers on the table really emphasize the dynamics of this room.”   In other words, when the flowers are on the table the dynamics of the room become more distinct.

More examples:

  • Today I can’t emphasize enough that we need to take immediate action to reduce green house gases.
  • I want to emphasize that unless we find a cheaper way to produce energy, someday we may not have enough.
  • That color really emphasizes the strength of this room.
  • The speaker emphasized the importance of drinking enough water everyday.

verb: emphasize
noun: emphasis



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