deliberately vs intentionally vs "on purpose"

Status
Not open for further replies.

jctgf

Key Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Tuvalu
Current Location
Tuvalu
hi,
does these expressions mean the same, please?
which one should I use in common and informal situations?
thanks.
 

stuartnz

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
New Zealand
Current Location
New Zealand
I'm not a teacher, but I would say that "on purpose" is the most casual of the three. It's the phrase one would expect to hear from a child complaining of some injustice - "You did that on purpose".

In everyday informal settings, I'd be most likely to hear and use "deliberately". My wife will often say "that car deliberately sped up as soon as I had a chance to pass, then slowed down again". In a sentence like that one, "intentionally" would sound a tiny bit unusual, to my ears. I use "intentionally" most when writing. For example, someone once thought I had written "contemn" instead of "condemn". I replied that I had intentionally used "contemn", because it was my intent, it was the word I had intended to use.
 

jctgf

Key Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Tuvalu
Current Location
Tuvalu
Very interesting. I thought that "on purpose" was the most formal of all the three(*). So, if I choose to say "on purpose" I will be OK, right?
Thanks.

(*) Please, is this expression correct?
 

stuartnz

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
New Zealand
Current Location
New Zealand
Very interesting. I thought that "on purpose" was the most formal of all the three(*). So, if I choose to say "on purpose" I will be OK, right?
Thanks.

(*) Please, is this expression correct?


I would have said "the most formal of the three." or, "of all of them, it is the most formal" or "of the three of them, it is the most formal".

You would not be incorrect to say "on purpose". I do hear and read it in adult conversation, it's just that in NZ English, "deliberately" would be used more often, I think. That's my assessment, as someone who is not a professional teacher.
 

banderas

Key Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
UK
hi,
does these expressions mean the same, please?Yes, they do except for one example I want to give.
"Calmly and deliberately (= slowly and carefully), she poured petrol over the car and set it alight". "Intentionally' would not be suitable in this context.

thanks.
;-)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top