- For Teachers
What's the difference between "fault" & "mistake"?
Why do we say: "Susan didn't make a mistake anyway." but not "Susan didn't make a fault anyway."?
mistake (n) = an error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.
- A character weakness, especially a minor one.
- Something that impairs or detracts from physical perfection; a defect. See synonyms at blemish.
- A mistake; an error.
- A minor offense or misdeed.
- Responsibility for a mistake or an offense; culpability. See synonyms at blame..
Fault, 1. Blemish, defect, deficiency, failing, flaw, imperfection,inaccuracy, indiscretion, negligence, omission, shortcoming, weakness. 2. Blunder, error, lapse, misdeed, mistake, offence, sin, slip, slip-up, wrong. 3. accountability, culpability, liability, responsibility.
Imperfection and fault apply more comprehensively to any deficiency or shortcoming: “A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections” . “Each of us would point out to the other her most serious faults, and thereby help her to remedy them”
Use fault to mean something that is wrong with a machine or system, or something that you could criticize about a person or thing • The car engine had developed a fault. • The book's only fault is that it is too long.
Use mistake to mean something that is wrong in someone's grammar, spelling, calculations, decisions etc • Please correct any mistakes (NOT faults) in my letter