Difference Between Important and Significant -


Important vs Significant

Important and Significant are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage and meanings. Strictly speaking, there is some difference between the two words. The word ‘important’ is used in the sense of ‘essential’. On the other hand, the word ‘significant’ is used in the sense of ‘noteworthy’. This is the subtle difference between the two words.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘important’ is used chiefly as an adjective as in the expressions ‘important news’ and ‘important person’. It has its noun form in the word ‘importance’. On the other hand, the word ‘significant’ is also chiefly used as an adjective as in the expressions ‘significant point’ and ‘significant person’. The word ‘significant’ has its noun form in the word ‘significance’.

Take a look at the sentences given below

1. Robert has spoken of a few important issues in the meeting.

2. Lucy is an important person in the group.

In both the sentences given above, the word ‘important’ is used in the sense of ‘essential’ or ‘crucial’. Hence, the first sentence can be rewritten as ‘Robert has spoken of a few essential issues in the meeting’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘Lucy is a crucial person in the group’.

Observe the two sentences

1. Robert made significant changes in the agenda.

2. Angela voiced out significant points in the discussion.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word ‘significant’ is used in the sense of ‘noteworthy’ and hence, the first sentence could be rewritten as ‘Robert made noteworthy changes in the agenda’, and the second sentence could be rewritten as ‘Angela voiced out noteworthy points in the discussion’. These are the important differences between the two words, namely, important and significant.

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