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Base vs. Bass

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Even though they are correctly pronounced differently, the fact that “base” and “bass” have quite similar spellings often determines some English users to pronounce them almost identically and, consequently, to confound them and use them one instead of the other. Pluss, given that it’s one letter only, it can also be a random typing error that gets unobserved but changes the meaning of the message.

If you doubt the correct uses or the actual significations of “base” and “bass”, then this article is for you. We will explain everything you need to know about them to make sure your messages including these words will always be error-free.

Base vs. Bass

“Base” has a huge number of meanings and uses, in a lot of different contexts. Though none is the same with “bass”. Plus, it can function both as a noun and as a verb.

Unlike it, “bass”, is only used as a noun, and its usage is narrowed down to the domain of music. More exactly, all its meanings are related to music or instruments and to contexts involving this field. So after all, making a clear distinction between “base” and “bass” isn’t that hard after understanding their actual meanings, because there’s nothing difficult such as subtle differences to remember or anything; just major differences in their definitions.

When do we use “base”?

As a noun, “base” is used with plenty of meanings. Firstly, it refers to the bottom part of something; it can also define the main part of something, the most important one from which other parts can develop. Then, “base” can also define the place where one lives or works, or from where they do or develop thing; this meaning also applies in an army, referring to the place where soldiers have settled, or to an organization, where the main work is done. At the same time, “base” can also be used to define the main substance in a mixture of ingredients, or one of the four places in baseball that a player has to run in order to get the point. As a verb, the word is mostly used in passive, referring to the main place where one lives or works.

Example 1: The base of vase is resting on the table, allowing the flowers to spread their perfume all over the place. – “base”, as a noun, defines the main bottom part of the vase.

Example 2: High-school provided me with a solid economic base. – “base” can also define the most important part from of a subject, from which new knowledge can develop.

Example 3: London is an excellent base to explore business opportunities. – “base” can define a main place where one lives or works.

Example 4: This cream has an oil base, which makes it perfect to hydrate dry skin. – “base” is also used to define the main ingredient in a mixture.

Example 5: You have to run that base, otherwise we’ll be defeated in this game! – in baseball, “base” defines the area a player must run.

Example 6: Our organization is based in Paris. – “base”, as a verb, is usually used in passive (“based”), referring to the place where one lives or works, or where the main activity of a company happens.

When do we use “bass”?

“Bass” is probably a lot easier to remember with its every meaning than “base”, mainly because the contexts where it suits is narrowed down to the domain of music. The word is always used as a noun, and first of all it defines the person who sings a very low voice; secondly, it can refer to the lower half of a set of musical notes; and ultimately, “bass” can also be used to define either an electrical guitar that produces low sounds, or a large musical instrument made out of wood, with four strings played while standing or sitting on a high chair.

Example 1: He is the bass of our choir. – “bass” is the person who sings in a very low voice.

Example 2: The bass of this song is really hard to remember. – “bass” can also define the lower half of a set of musical notes.

Example 3: Take your bass and start playing for the audition please. – “bass” can also refer to a musical instrument that produces low sounds.

Conclusion

In the end, the easiest way to remember the difference between “base” and “bass” is to keep in mind, at least partially, the concepts they define. “Base” refers to a lot of aspects, having multiple meanings, usually related to main, important elements of something, while “bass” is always related to music and low notes.

Base vs. Bass

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