Difference Between Use vs Usage

Difference Between Use vs Usage

Many people have been caught up in the crossfire trying to spot the difference between usage and use. Were you? If so, you are not alone. There’s no doubt that the two words seem to have similar meanings. But they also have some contrasts.

Despite that, we assure you that after going through this guide, you will understand the disparity between them. Another promise is that at the end of this guide, you won’t only know the contrasts, but you also won’t need to read more articles to grasp how to use them. So, we will start at once by defining the two terms.

Definition of Use

Use is a noun that applies to the state or act of employing something for a purpose. In the English language, “use” is both a noun and a verb.

Firstly, as a noun, you can relate it to synonyms like to take, utilize, hold, or deploy something in an effort to accomplish or achieve something. One can also describe it as utilizing or employing something for a specific reason or purpose.

An example will simplify it.

Donald used the keys to unlock his father’s bedroom.

In this instance, the function of “use” is to describe the role of “key” in opening the bedroom. The boy in question, Donald, needed to do something in his father’s bedroom. So, he has to utilize the key to unlock it.

Secondly, there are other occasions where “use” can have an entirely different meaning. For example, it could be an event that happened to someone in the past. However, the person is probably fed up or does not do it anymore.

For instance,

Jennifer used to trek to school from home every day.

In the example above, it means that Jennifer was always trekking to school. However, she does not do that anymore because she has graduated or dropped out of school.

Lastly, “use” can equally function as a noun.

For example,

What’s the use of the lights if you do not put them on at night?

In the sentence above, it functions as a noun, as the lights help people to see at night.

Definition of Usage

Usage is a noun that describes something that has been utilized for a long time but has become a way of life. You rarely see people employ it in their colloquial conversations.

However, that does not suggest that doing so is wrong. It is applied in terms of “practice” or “convention.” Before getting into the difference between use and usage, some examples of the latter will help you understand it better.

The word has its usage.

Later, the new engineer realized that the usage of the machines was extremely high.

The first sentence describes how everyday people apply a certain English word. This is where convention comes in. On the other hand, the second example refers to a machine found in a workplace. That is how one can apply the noun to describe something people employ in “practice.”

Main Differences Between Use vs Usage

Having come thus far, the table below explains the use vs usage concept in detail.

Basis for ComparisonUseUsage
MeaningIt is an English word employed in describing something that people utilize every other dayIt is an English word that people utilize in describing something that is habitual or customary
Part of SpeechVerb and nounNoun
DurationSomething that people apply every daySomething that is seen as a people’s way of life
ExampleI use my truck to move my pigs to the market every dayI need to get a book on English usage

Difference Between Use and Usage: Conclusion

In conclusion, one can assume that you have learned the clear-cut disparities between the two words. We cannot wrap up this usage vs use guide without emphasizing that people apply the former in describing events they consider a custom or habit.

In contrast, you should employ “use” when you want to describe something utilized every day. By now, you should know how to summarize them whenever you wish to apply the two terms. Finally, while people use them interchangeably, it is good to keep in mind that they have some contrasts.