In the following paragraphs, choose the most suitable word for each gap and fill in the gaps.

Consider the word choices:

  • Install
  • Employ
  • implement

“We ________ a new engineer, who helped us _________ the components into the newly designed control system. It is anticipated the new control system will be __________ in phases, and when complete, will ensure the automation process runs smoothly.”

Consider the word choices:

  • Utilize
  • Makes use of
  • Uses

“Even though James majored in a language degree with the goal of becoming an English teacher; however,he ended up working as a sales person and his language skill is ___________ to communicate with international clients. He now __________ English frequently and really __________ this competitive edge as few of his colleagues speak good English.”

Consider the word choices:

  • Adapt
  • Adopt

“He __________ the originally recommended method to achieve the desired result but soon realized it wasn’t working. Fortunately, he is flexible and quickly___________ to the situation by making what he deemed as suitable adjustments.”

Fill in the following table with either ‘Strong’, ‘Weak’, or just leave blank depending on the connotation you feel the word gives.

similar words improve skills suitable words exercise

Compare your answers to the table below:

similar words improve skills suitable words exercise answers

Answers and explanations to the exercises by a NSE:

“We employed a new engineer, who helped us install the components into the newly designed control system. It is anticipated the new control system will be implemented in phases, and when complete, will ensure the automation process runs smoothly.”

Employ–to actively engage a person with a particular position and purpose assigned. The employing of a person involves a formal process, and in many cases you would already have a predefined purpose as well as position for them to fill.

Install-Placing physical items in particular positions ready for use. The word can be used for both intangible (i.e. software system) and tangible (i.e. machine parts) elements, which are integral parts that need to be in a particular position for the complete unit to function properly.Interestingly, you cannot “install a person” because a person moves around and is engaged, so the connotation is not correct.

Implement-The execution of a defined plan to achieve a prescribed goal. The word is mostly used for intangible items (i.e. plan, system) and the key feature is it involves defining and planning before execution.

“Even though James majored in a language degree with the goal of becoming an English teacher; however he ended up working as a salesperson and his language skill is utilized to communicate with international clients. He now uses English frequently and really makes use of this competitive edge as few of his colleagues speak good English.”

Utilize-Actively engage and put in practical use for a purpose other than originally intended. In this example James’ language skill was originally intended to be used for teaching, but later on this purpose changed as his role changed to a salesperson;he put this skill to use for another person because he believes it will bring benefits.

Use-Since he first decided to put his language skill to use for a different purpose, James now ‘uses’ it on a regular basis. This is a casual way to describe that his language skill is a means for fulfilling his tasks and responsibilities.

Makes use of-This expression emphasizes exploitation.This word is similar to ‘utilize’ in the sense that they’re both for a specific purpose; however, ‘make use of’ or ‘take advantage of’ have a much stronger sense of exploitation (in a positive way). The person is fully aware the potential benefits that might be beyond the originally intended purpose and actively pursues them. For instance, language skill helps James communicate to international clients. James recognizes this skill, and at the same time not many of his colleagues speak English well. This puts him in an advantageous position; therefore,he makes sure he exploits this opportunity.

“He adopted the originally recommended method to achieve the desired result but soon realized it wasn’t working. Fortunately, he is flexible and quickly adapted to the situation by making what he deemed as suitable adjustments.”

Adopt-Formally accepting something with a purpose. This word is often confused with adapt because they look similar; however,they are not interchangeable. ‘Adopt’ suggests accepting something as it is without changing the thing.

Adapt-In order to achieve a specific goal, actively make a modification to something so that it can be used.This word differs from ‘adopt’ in that one doesn’t just accept something as it is, but recognizes it is not completely suitable for the intended purpose and therefore modifications are required.

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