Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm All Snug and Secure

We all use the word secure to describe the feeling of "being safe." We say, "I feel safe and secure in my home," "my wallet is secure in my bag." However, problems occur when people say "I feel secureD."

What's happening here is a confusion between two uses, the use of secure as an adjective and the use of the word as a verb. When we use the word to mean "being safe," we are using it as an adjective, which means, it's describing how safe your home, your wallet, your car, etc. is. If you're using it as an adjective, you do not add the "d" at the end (an adjective does not have a past tense). So, even if you're describing something in the past, you don't say "I felt safe and secured when we were at the house." Instead, you say, "I felt safe and secure." The verb which indicates the past tense is "felt."

When you use secure as a verb, to you mean "to make safe;" you're doing the actions that will make something safe. For instance, "I secured the windows against the rain yesterday" or "Let me secure the windows right now." If it's a verb, then you can use the past tense.

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