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Insight vs. Incite vs. Invite

Incite and insight are rather two totally different words that can be often confused because of similar pronunciation. Do you know that such words are called as homophones? In this Grammar.com article let us understand usage of these 2 words with some meaningful examples. We will also look at the word invite which rhymes with incite, to make clear that both words are a world apart.

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  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Incite (verb)

To incite someone is to arouse them to do something unlawful or wrong. It can be to stir up an unnecessary controversy or to encourage violence by saying something that may not be true. Few synonyms of incite are – instigate, provoke, fuel, trigger. The origin of incite was from the Latin word incitare which means to bring into action. However, most of the times, incite is used in the negative sense.

Examples –

·         Stop inciting me against my own teachers and get back to work!

·         The political party incited riots in the name of religion.

·         Don’t try to incite your loyal followers for personal gains.

·         The inciter was arrested after a thorough probe.

Incite is a transitive verb (requires an object) as we see in the above examples. The objects are teachers, riots and followers here. Inciter is the noun. Pronounce it as in-CITE stressing on the 2nd syllable.

Insight

Insight, unlike incite, is a positive noun. To get an insight of something means to obtain a deep understanding. You can say insight as ‘inner sight’.

·         She is yet to give a real insight into the project estimations.

·         We are yet to gain an insight into the reason behind this unexpected turn of events.

·         He provided some insights on the internal working of the lathe machine.

·         Your session on product management was quite insightful.

·         Facebook insights are quite helpful in planning our marketing strategy.

Insight vs. Incite vs. Invite

·         We have some early insights on the poll results.

Note that we use ‘a’ and ‘an’ with insight while with some and quite, we use insights. Essentially, the plural of insight is insights.

Being insightful means being perceptive or having a deep understanding, being shrewd or wise, consider all aspects of something and then make possible future conclusions. Stress on the first syllable to pronounce IN-sight.

Invite

Invite is a common word, a verb which means a formal or friendly request for someone’s presence. It can be a get-together, party, business meeting etc…

1.       Why wasn’t I invited to your birthday party?

2.       The delegates were invited for a dinner meet at Taj Palace.

3.       We can print a formal invitation with the event details.

4.       I would like to invite you all for my wedding; I will share the details by email.

5.       The ambience of Ikea is quite inviting.

6.       I am inviting you to watch a movie with me tonight.

Note that in the 5th sentence, inviting is a gerund, it is not the present continuous tense.

We hope that with this article, you have got some good insight of homophones like insight and incite! 

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