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

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06 Sep 2010


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!

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Kevin Tumlinson

September 17, 2010

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!).


Forsamlingshus Fyn

January 23, 2011

Hehe always wondered about the difference between poring and pouring, now i know! Thanks for sharing.


gods own country

January 28, 2011

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!


Michigan Job Bank

February 12, 2011

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


Tabla tip tigla

February 26, 2011

I never tried to know the difference between poring and pouring


Web Designer

August 13, 2011

i have heard those term right now:S thanks for informations.


Fuquay varina

November 4, 2011

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.


Rolex Sacramento

April 4, 2012

Really Phunny Grammer LOL


Pc Programlama

April 14, 2012

Interesting thanks a alot


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July 9, 2016

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