Inspiring vs Inspirational

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What’s the difference between them?

Inspiring

Meaning:

causing admiration or excitement, which usually leds to an action and success.

Examples:

1. Her speech was so inspiring that it motivated everyone to strive for success.

2. His inspiring words of encouragement gave me the confidence to complete the task.

3. The teacher's inspiring lessons gave the students the courage to take risks.

Inspirational

Meaning:

causing admiration without a neccessarily result.

Examples:

1. His inspirational speech filled the room with a sense of hope.

2. She found the book to be an inspirational guide for her life.

3. His inspirational words motivated her to pursue her dreams.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Inspiring

1. Motivating

2. Uplifting

3. Stimulating

4. Exhilarating

5. Encouraging

1. Discouraging

2. Demotivating

3. Uninspiring

4. Depressing

5. Disheartening

Inspirational

1. Uplifting

2. Motivating

3. Exhilarating

4. Encouraging

5. Stimulating

1. Discouraging

2. Depressing

3. Unmotivating

4. Deflating

5. Disheartening

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Inspiring", "Inspirational".

1. 'Inspiring' often implies a direct influence or action leading to a specific outcome or success. Think of it as the spark that ignites a fire.

2. 'Inspirational', on the other hand, often focuses on the emotion or admiration elicited, without necessarily prompting direct action. It’s more about feeling uplifted.

3. An 'inspiring' teacher might directly motivate students to achieve their best grades.

4. An 'inspirational' quote might make someone feel better or more hopeful, without directly leading to a tangible action.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When should the word 'inspirational' be used?

The word 'inspirational' is used to describe something that has encouraged or motivated someone to behave or think in a certain way. An inspirational person or experience can be seen as someone or something that has helped to ignite enthusiasm, or even hope in someone.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'inspiring'?

The word 'inspiring' is used to describe something that has stimulated or inspired someone to take action or to do something. It is usually used to describe an idea, experience or person that has had a powerful and positive impact, or has helped to bring about change.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, inspiring is pronounced /ɪnˈspaɪr.ɪŋ/, while inspirational is pronounced /ˌɪn.spəˈreɪ.ʃən.əl/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

People sometimes confuse ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’. While ‘inspirational’ refers to the act of motivating someone, ‘inspiring’ describes something or someone that has had a strong and positive effect.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The coach gave an ________ speech that motivated the team to win the match.

2. The mountains during sunrise are truly ________.

3. She found the book to be ________, immediately setting new goals for herself.

4. The workshop was filled with ________ stories of personal triumph.

5. The film, while not pushing the audience to do something, was ________ in its portrayal of human spirit.

6. Attending the seminar was an ________ experience, making me reconsider my career choices.

1. The coach gave an inspiring speech that motivated the team to win the match.

Explanation: The word motivated suggests that the speech led to an action (winning the match), so inspiring is the appropriate choice.

2. The mountains during sunrise are truly inspirational.

Explanation: The sentence describes the admiration caused by the sight of the mountains but does not suggest a specific resulting action, making inspirational the correct choice.

3. She found the book to be inspiring, immediately setting new goals for herself.

Explanation: The act of setting new goals implies that the book caused her to take an action, so inspiring fits best.

4. The workshop was filled with inspirational stories of personal triumph.

Explanation: The stories cause admiration, but theres no specific action mentioned as a result of hearing them, making inspirational the right choice.

5. The film, while not pushing the audience to do something, was inspirational in its portrayal of human spirit.

Explanation: Since the film did not necessarily lead the audience to take an action but did cause admiration, inspirational is the correct term.

6. Attending the seminar was an inspiring experience, making me reconsider my career choices.

Explanation: The experience led to a specific action (reconsidering career choices), so inspiring is the suitable choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.