Gage vs. Gauge: What’s the Difference?

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English has several complicated words in it. Words that are pronounced differently but spelled the same; words that are pronounced the same but spelled differently; and some words have such close meanings, it’s hard to tell them apart.

In this post, we will discuss two words with similar pronunciations but different meanings and functions in a sentence. These words are gage and gauge. Let’s talk about the difference between these two confusing words.

What Does “Gage” Mean?

The word gage describes something deposited to guarantee good faith. As a verb, the term is used to offer something to prove one’s good faith. 

Additionally, the word gage expresses a challenge, especially in the sense of contest or fight. Since the word gage is gradually becoming obsolete, you will rarely see its usage in sentences. However, its usage as a “guarantee” is still in use. 

 Examples of Using the Word Gage

  • My father’s car acted as a gage for the bank.
  • His house was a gage for the bank.
  • She owed her friend a large sum of money and had to leave her house as a gage.
  • Throw up your gage as there is no benefit to fighting.
  • It is an excellent time to throw down the gage to your opponent.

What Does “Gauge” Mean?

The term gauge is used both as a verb and as a noun. As a verb, the word is used to refer to analyzing, estimating, measuring, or evaluating a specific thing. And as a noun, gauge stands for the size, capacity, and thickness of something, especially as a standard measure.

Additionally, gauge as a noun is also used to describe a measurement tool used for the measurement of pressure, oil, fuel, and such other things.

 Examples of Using the Word Gauge

  • Is there any equipment to gauge airborne pollution?
  • Can astronomers gauge the brightness of stars?
  • It’s not easy to gauge the risk.
  • The poll is used to gauge the public’s opinion on the captain.
  • The patrolman was not able to gauge the driver’s speed accurately.
  • This thermostat does not gauge the temperature accurately.
  • My motorbike’s speedometer is broken, it can’t gauge my speed.
  • This is a narrow-gauge railway.
  • Retail sales are a gauge of buyers’ spending.
  • This weather station is equipped with thermometers, wind vane, and barometers, and a rain gauge.
  • The gauges in use vary significantly between 5 ft.
  • You must check the instrument panel to see if all gauges work properly.
  • The petrol gauge is still on full.

How to Remember the Difference

If you’re not sure you will be able to remember all this, you can use the following trick to recognize the difference between two. Just remember a gauge is used to refer to both measure and measurement tools, and both gauge and measure words have the letter “U” in them.


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