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"Ideas" Versus "Ideals"

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

ideals

  by Mignon Fogarty

Josepha, a host at KHHT in Los Angeles, insisted that she often hears people say "ideals" when they mean "ideas."

An idea is a thought, a notion, or a concept. An ideal is a lofty aim when it's used as a noun and the rough equivalent of "excellent" or "perfect" when it's used as an adjective.

  •  I have an idea.
  •  He stuck to his ideals.
  •  She was an ideal student.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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