“Poring” vs. “Pouring”: What’s the Difference?

06September

“Poring” vs. “Pouring”: What’s the Difference?

This question came up during a round of in-house editing this week, so – of course –I wanted to share:

Complete this sentence:  I spent hours  _______ over the pages of the magazine.

A.)   poring

B.)   pouring

The correct answer is A, “poring.”

“Pore” means to study or read something with great care.  You’d pore over a textbook or a website; you could even pore over the details of an especially interesting dream you had the night before.

“Pour” on the other hand, is something you do with a liquid.  It’s the word for what you do with, say, a bottle of water or a pot of coffee.

So, you might say:  “I poured myself another cup of coffee and pored through the newspaper’s horoscope section, hoping for good news and lucky lotto numbers.”

Well, you might not say that, exactly.  But you get the idea.

Have any other frequently confused words?  Let us know!

Posted by Stephanie  Posted on 06 Sep 
  • copywriting tips, grammar, grammer tips, proofreading, Writers Resources
  • Post Comments 9

    Posted by Kevin Tumlinson on
    • Sep 17 2010
    Reply  
    This is one of those homophones that gives me fits. My brain automagically inserts "pouring," even though I KNOW that isn't right. Homophones and homonyms end up making my editor a lot of money (and costing me!).
    Posted by Forsamlingshus Fyn on
    • Jan 23 2011
    Reply  
    Hehe always wondered about the difference between poring and pouring, now i know! Thanks for sharing.
    Posted by gods own country on
    • Jan 28 2011
    Reply  
    I just couldn't leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer. Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!
    Posted by Michigan Job Bank on
    • Feb 12 2011
    Reply  
    Thank god I never use Poring or Pouring term in my vocabulary cause if not I would had been writing it wrong for years cause I would be writing pouring. Mitch
    Posted by Tabla tip tigla on
    • Feb 26 2011
    Reply  
    I never tried to know the difference between poring and pouring
    Posted by Web Designer on
    • Aug 13 2011
    Reply  
    i have heard those term right now:S thanks for informations.
    Posted by Fuquay varina on
    • Nov 4 2011
    Reply  
    If you read a book intently, you don't pour over it, but pore over it (unless you at the same time douse it bizarrely with a liquid). Perhaps this mistake is so common because we don't know either verb's origin.
    Posted by Rolex Sacramento on
    • Apr 4 2012
    Reply  
    Really Phunny Grammer LOL
    Posted by Pc Programlama on
    • Apr 14 2012
    Reply  
    Interesting thanks a alot

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