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Write the Right Word: Imminent vs. Eminent

Imminent and eminent sound alike, but they cannot be used interchangeably. They do not mean the same thing.

Eminent means high in station, rank or repute. For example: “He was an eminent speaker in the area of animal welfare.”

Eminent also can mean conspicuous or noteworthy. “The instructor treated her students with eminent fairness.” “The man had an eminent nose.”

Imminent means something is likely to happen soon. “Flooding is imminent in the Bismarck-Mandan area.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu

 

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