Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Mature Person

Hello! I didn't get to post yesterday as I was busy all day. Real life, after all, can sometimes get in the way of Internet life. Anyway, here's today's post.

We often describe people as mature. When a person is mature, we mean that he/she has grown up well and has a very stable outlook on life. However, we never describe a person as matured. Therefore, we say, "She is mature" and we never say, "She is matured (although people misuse it this way)." What's the difference between mature and matured?

The mistake lies in a quirk in the English language, which is multiple meanings for one word. Also, mature is both an adjective (a word to describe) and a verb (an action word). When it is used to describe, we never change its form but when it is used as an action word, then we can add -ed.

To clarify, check out these two examples:

"She is mature for her age."
"She matured very well."

In the first sentence, mature is used as an adjective. It is describing the person being talked about ("she"). In this sense, the person described is acting like an adult, despite being so young ("mature for her age). In the second sentence, mature is used as a verb. As a verb, it means "to grow up" or "to reach the age when something is full grown." As a verb, it's about the process of growing up; therefore, the past tense form can be used. The sentence, "She matured really well" is about someone who is already full grown (hence, the past tense, she grew up in the past).

So, if you want to describe someone, use mature.

1 comment:

-k. said...

i searched google to find the meaning of an expression someone said to me. this person thinks that i make all the wrong decisions and that i run away from everything in my life (even though i'm only fifteen).. they said to me, 'you're walking in as straight a line as a circle.' i read that you're an english teacher after i clicked on your 'forming a straight circle' link, and i was wondering if maybe you knew what this person meant when they said this to me?
thank you