Difference Between Conform and Confirm

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Conform and Confirm

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Every day we come up with people using general terms such as conform or confirm. We barely put thought into it and we often believe that we cannot care less about such terms and their meanings as long as they serve the purpose. It is a term that we probably use a hundred times a day while speaking or while writing. Many people also confuse terms like this in their daily lives and end up messing up a whole beautiful essay or a letter or a speech. As much as we feel that these words are a common occurrence and that it has no proper meaning to them, we could not be any more wrong. The words, no matter how small of a meaning they have to them in the English language. The simplest of letters such as, ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘it’, also serve a greater purpose and shape the English language into an easier and more comprehensible form.

It is important to note that every word in the English language has meaning to it. Though at times the words may serve more than one meaning at a time but a meaning. There are several terms we use in our daily lives and we do not know the meaning of them. It seems like we have been functioning to say the words without really knowing why and how. Let us say if someone today asks us the meaning of a basic word like, ‘through’, we would fumble with the meaning. Especially if we have to answer within the next thirty seconds. We know in what context we should be using the term but at the same time, we do not know the dictionary meaning of the word. Just for the knowledge, ‘through’ means moving in one side and out from the other side. But the meaning of through may vary from sentence to sentence. It depends on which context it is being used.

What are Homophones?

How often have we heard words like bear and bear? Or words like rose and rose? Or perhaps the use of words like coarse and course? And in the same sentence? Quite often! For example, he had to bear a scar because of his bear. Her voice was coarse when she talked about how difficult her course was. He rose with a rose in his hand for his beloved. And the most surprising part is that we know in what context we are talking about these things. Isn't it a little surprising and a little strange? We are built in such a manner that our brain can make the distinction between the two. And how what is related to what.

These words which have similar spelling or similar pronunciation are known as homophones. A homophone is derived from the Greek word, ‘homo’ meaning same and ‘phone’ meaning voice. Together the word means the same voice or to be more clear it means the same pronunciation. In the above examples, one of the rose means the past tense for the rise and the other rose means the flower. One of the bear means to carry and the other bear means the animal. One of the coarse means rough and the other course means the one that we study. These are all the easiest examples of homophones that we come across several times a day in our sentences.

A group of words having the same pronunciation but having different meanings is known as homophonous. Ice cream and I scream are excellent examples of the homophonous. I scream as the ice cream melts all over my Gucci coat. The sky was bright but this guy was brighter. The sand which is there is contagious. The sandwiches there on the table are really good.

But heterographs are words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings. Course and coarse are both homophones but we now know that a homophone is also classified into different terms and one of them is heterographs. Thus the two given words come under the category of heterographs. Another example of a heterograph is confirm and conform. They both are pronounced the same but have different meanings to them and also different spellings. Her son was under the sun for three hours. It is about to rain. The reign of Akbar was great.

Difference Between Conform and Confirm in Tabular Form

Properties Confirm Conform
Meaning Establishing the truth. Following the rules and the laws.
Usage To speak the truth or write it. To show sincerity with what is needed.
Type Verbs. Adjective.
Spelling c-o-n-f-i-r-m c-o-n-f-o-r-m
Similar words Verify, validate, assure, authenticate. Cohere, chord, check. coincide.
Examples Can you confirm that this is the actual proof relating to the case? You are to conform with the rules imposed upon you here on.

Difference Between Conform and Confirm in Points

  • Confirm means to make sure or to establish the rightness or the correctness of a given statement. Especially used while trying to look over suspicious behavior of an individual who might be lying. It originated from the several Latin words such as, ‘firmus’, which means firm which then transferred from ‘firmus’ to ‘firmare’ with the prefix of ‘con’ which together forms ‘confirmare’ which means together and strengthen respectively. And eventually by the medieval times rolled around we had the term confirm which means to ensure the rightness. For example, at a court trial when we believe that the suspect might be lying, the lawyer asks them, “can you confirm that you were not in the country at the time the crime happened?”   On the other hand, conform means to obey the rules and regulations like that of a school or of a hospital. There are many written and unwritten rules that a person must abide by and thus conform to it. The word conform is derived from the Latin words, ‘con’ meaning together and ‘formare’ meaning to form. ‘Conformare’ in Latin was then evolved into what we know today as conform which means to make something like another thing. Like we must know that as kids when we broke the rules of the school our teachers must have been fed up with us, which is a given, but we rarely saw them yell, “can you not conform to the rules for once?” Because it is not just a confusing word but is also very much similar to confirm. Most homophones can cause a problem while comprehending the English language if they are not thought through carefully. Especially if the word we are using is not a very popular or commonly used term like conform.
  • Confirm can either be asked as a question or given as an answer when we are trying to make sure something is going right. Or when we are trying to assure ourselves of the events or things happening. The word confirm itself is a verb, which means that it is a word which generally conveys an action. However, while talking about a third person we use ‘confirms’ in a past tense it would be ‘confirmed’ and in the present participle it would be ‘confirming’. I confirm that I am innocent. He confirms that he would not be coming to the college today. My friend confirmed with the teacher about the holiday tomorrow. I am confirming the job offer from the xyz company. As we know, a verb is a word which is commonly used for showcasing an action. And while using confirm we are conveying an action or are doing an action. Speaking is an action, thus a verb. Conform on the other hand is usually an adjective but while actively participating in the work it is a verb. It is to note that while conform can be both a verb and an adjective, confirm can be used only as a verb.
  • Confirm is used when we are trying to convey the truth of a situation, a person or an object, to assert that we are stating the right thing and not some fabricated lie. Like when we double check our refrigerators to check for all the available groceries before we go out for the grocery shopping. We just tried to confirm that we are not missing anything from the list of items that we have to buy. Or when we check over and over again before crossing the road, to confirm that no vehicles are going to crash into us. Or when we are trying to tell our teacher that we did not steal the chalks but she doesn't believe us and asks us if we are lying and we confirm to her that we are not lying. Conform on the other hand is used when we are trying to show how agreeable we are to follow the rules and how much we truly follow them. Amusement parks should have the conform ride of roller coasters. Or when we say you are to conform by the conduct of a person going to a temple. Or it must be noted that the bathroom must conform to cleanliness and hygiene at all times. The confirmation for the rule was dismissed by everyone. You are not conforming to the law of the government by painting the walls.
  • The spelling of confirm has an I while the spelling of conform has an O but at the same place which can make the two words are very confusing to understand due to the fact that it is almost the same but is held apart by a letter and of course the meaning but it does not really matter because mistakes can be made even at the simplest of times. The English language is easy as well as one of the most complex languages all over the world. With the largest amount of the population speaking the language, most of us can agree that the language has no right being this complex! It could be done the easier way but no. We like complexities. However, we also know that confirm and conform are not the only words held apart by just a letter. Do you see? A letter! But bear and bare are also separated by just one letter and the different meanings. Similarly, there are other words such as to and too, new and knew, too and two or to and two, axes and axis and so many more. But the English language is fun too. This in no way was making fun of the language though. It is a fun language and is respected by people all across the world because it gives us a common ground to discuss our matters regardless of the origin of the country.
  • A single word in the English language has many synonyms and it is no secret that the word confirm has its own set of many synonyms. Affirm, endorse, certify, vouch, uphold, and verify are just some of the very few examples of synonyms for the word confirm. Can you verify that the given pictures are not yours? Like in general, we would use, can you confirm that these pictures are not yours? She affirmed to be about her cheating on the test papers. She confirmed to me about her cheating on the test papers. The synonyms for conform are observe, obey, fulfil, heed, acknowledge and many more. Can you obey these rules while making the presentation? Can you conform to these rules while making the presentation? The boss wants us to acknowledge the new rules. The boss wants us to conform to the new rules.
  • The use of confirmation is a very common occurrence in our daily lives. We use confirm in almost every sentence where we have a doubt. Oh, I do not understand what the doctor said, let me just confirm it from him. We cannot trust her blindly, let one of us confirm if she is trustworthy or not and then we will go forward with the plan. He was not as confirmed about the project anymore. While on the other hand, the use of conform can be quite contradictory because firstly it is not very commonly used and on the other hand it can cause confusion. But nonetheless, the word is used for more formal settings. She could not conform to the conduct of the court. The kids conformed with us throughout the trip.



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"Difference Between Conform and Confirm." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 16 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-conform-and-confirm-569>.

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