March 1, 2014 - Word of the Day: account
To account for something is to keep track of it. A person keeps records, takes notes, and maintains information. This word can be used for many different situations:
- Charles can't account for his whereabouts last weekend. (He can't remember where he was.)
- Did you account for the possibility that all of these extra people might show up today? (account for = plan)
- We all have to account to a higher power for our behavior. (account to = report; explain)
The phrase "on account of" is very similar to "because of."
- The game was canceled on account of the weather.
- On account of Bob's mismanagement of his department, the company lost millions of dollars.
- The team lost the game on account of bad coaching and the players' loss of interest.
When this word is a noun, it refers to a record or a place for keeping money.
- Do you have a bank account?
- How do you keep track of all your accounts?
- An accountant is a person who maintains accounts for spending and income.
- Renee's account of events did not match those of others who witnessed the accident.
A person who studies accounting in college will later become an accountant.
- Kevin works as an accountant.
- I always have an accountant do my taxes.
- Accountants are very busy during tax season.
- Maria would like to become a C.P.A. That's a certified public accountant.
There are a few expressions that use the word "account."
- You don't have to do this on my account. (It's not necessary to do this for my benefit.)
- The teacher will hold you to account for your missed assignments. (hold to account = to place responsibility)
- The woman was called to account for her shoplifting. (She was caught stealing and she was asked to explain her actions.)
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