“Assure” vs. “Reassure”: How and when to use them

Assure vs Reassure

When we talk or write in English, choosing the right word can sometimes be tricky. Two words that often confuse people are “assure” and “reassure.” They sound similar and are related to making someone feel better or more confident. However, they are used in different situations. In this article, we’ll explore what these words mean and when you should use each one, using very simple English.

What Does “Assure” Mean?

The word “assure” is used when you want to make someone believe or understand something is true or will happen. You’re giving your word or making a promise about something. It’s like saying, “You can count on this.”

Examples of Using “Assure”:

  • Making a promise: “I assure you, your package will arrive tomorrow.”
  • Making someone believe in something: “I want to assure you that everything will be okay.”

When you “assure” someone, you’re dealing with facts or strong beliefs. You’re pretty certain about what you’re saying.

What Does “Reassure” Mean?

“Reassure” is used when you want to make someone feel better or less worried about something. It’s like giving someone a comfort blanket in the form of words. You’re saying, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be alright,” even if you’re not 100% sure.

Examples of Using “Reassure”:

  • Calming fears: “He reassured her that the noise was just the wind.”
  • Offering comfort: “The doctor reassured the patient that the procedure is usually painless.”

When you “reassure” someone, you’re focusing on their feelings and trying to ease their worries or fears.

When to Use “Assure” vs. “Reassure”

Now, let’s talk about when to use each word. It’s all about the situation and what you want to achieve.

  • Use “Assure” when you want to make someone believe in the certainty of something. It’s more about providing a guarantee or a promise about an outcome or fact. For example, if your friend is worried about missing a flight and you’ve checked that there’s plenty of time, you might say, “I assure you, we’ll make it to the airport with time to spare.”
  • Use “Reassure” when you’re trying to make someone feel better about their worries or fears. It’s more about emotional support. If the same friend is feeling nervous about flying for the first time, you might say, “I know it’s scary, but I’ll be right there with you. Everything will be okay,” to reassure them.

Quick Tips:

  • Use “assure” when you’re dealing with facts or promises.
  • Use “reassure” when you’re dealing with feelings or fears.

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