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February 1, 2013 - Word of the Day: estimate

To estimate something is to guess at an amount. You can use this word as a verb, a noun, or as an adjective. In these sentences, "estimate" is a verb:

  • My mechanic estimated the total costs for repairs on my car would amount to $350.
  • How much time do you estimate it will take to walk to the nearest grocery store?
  • Doctors estimated that the man had only a few more months to live.
  • A real estate appraiser estimates the value of a person's house. (This information is necessary prior to the purchase or refinancing of a house.)

When this word is used as a noun, the vowel sound on the third syllable changes: estimate. Do you hear the difference? As a verb, you pronounce the word as estimate. As a noun, you pronounce it estimate. (a short "i" sound.)

  • How much was the estimate?
  • The estimate came to $350.
  • We need an estimate on some plumbing work.
  • Can I get an estimate?

You can also use "estimation" as a noun. In this case, there can be a few different meanings for the word:

  • The estimation for the work on my car was kind of high.
  • What is your estimation of the political situation in Egypt?

As an adjective, the word changes slightly to "estimated."

  • Our estimated time of arrival is 10:30. (A popular abbreviation for this is "ETA.")
  • The estimated costs were much higher than the actual costs for the repair work.


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