Pursue vs Persue: Difference and Comparison

Many words are not only synonyms to each other but also have similar meanings.

Pursue and persue are such words that look similar and sound similar. Both words are used interchangeably by writers and communicators, but there are distinct differences between both words.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Pursue’ means to follow or chase something, while ‘persue’ is an incorrect spelling of pursue.
  2. ‘Pursue’ can be used in the context of a career, hobby or education, while ‘persue’ is not a valid word.
  3. ‘Pursue’ is a verb, while ‘persue’ is not a word recognized in English.

Pursue vs Persue

Pursue is a term that describes the situation when an individual is following a person or object with the determination of capturing it. Persue is a verb that describes the situation where an individual examines, investigates, and pays close attention to an object or another individual.

Pursue vs Persue

Pursue is a verb, and the word means to follow someone or something with a specific intent and determination to capture or harm. It involves a specific goal that has to be achieved. Pursue can be used as a transitive verb as well as an intransitive verb.

On the other hand, persue is an obsolete verb form. Scholars regard persue as an old way to write the original verb word “pursue”.

Persue means to glance or look through images or materials and does not involve any specific intent like casually reading through a magazine or scrolling through a mobile phone.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPursuePersue
Definition The meaning of pursue is to follow or travel down in a particular way or course of action with the intent of capturing or harm.The meaning of persue is to examine something closely. Another meaning of persue is to look at or read something casually, formally, relaxed or leisurely.
Type VerbVerb
UsageUsed currently Not used as it is an obsolete form
Involvement of specificity Involves specific intent and determinationIt does not involve any specific intent or determination
Word derivation The word was derived from Middle English pursue and from Anglo-Norman Persue has a Latin root of ‘per’, which means through, over, across, by means of, or beyond

What is Pursue?

Pursue is a verb. The word was derived from Middle English pursue and from Anglo-Norman pursure or poursuire. It can be used as a transitive verb as well as an intransitive verb. The pronunciation of the word is puh-syoo.

The meaning of pursue is to follow or travel down in a particular way or course of action. The following is associated with an intent of capture or harm.

To aim or go after a specific objective also implies pursue. As a transitive verb, pursuing also means participating in any activity or business or even practising a profession.

As an intransitive verb, it means to act as a legal prosecutor. An effort to overtake or capture, or chase is also considered synonymous to pursue.

Any legal action against any established and renowned activity or project means to pursue. The following or accompanying bad luck is also called pursue. Example – Back luck pursued her.

To follow the precepts of a plan or policy also means pursue as a transitive verb. In a deeper sense, to continue to argue or discuss a point or subject means to pursue.

The third-person singular simple present form is pursues, the present participle is pursuing and the simple past and past participle forms are pursued. A derived word of pursue is pursuer.

What is Persue?

Persue is a verb. It is regarded as an obsolete form of pursue. Some researchers regard persue as the old spelling of pursue.

It is also considered a misspelling of pursue among various writers and communicators. The meaning of persue is to examine something closely.

Persue has a Latin root of ‘per’. ‘Per’ in Latin means through, over, across, by means of or beyond. Some words and phrases of the similar root are per annum, per capita, and persuade.

The word in the third-person singular simple present form is persues, in present participle form is pursuing, and in simple past and past participle form is persued.

Persue means considering, examining or studying something with full attention to minute details. An example sentence would be, “The officers received the file to persue the case”.

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Another meaning of persue is to look at or read something casually, formally, relaxed or leisurely. An example sentence is, “I will persue a detective novel while travelling.

The word is not considered valid in most dictionaries and is regarded as a misspelling. To achieve, chase or pursue something, it is essential to persue the details.

Some examples of sentences are “He wanted me to take some time to persue the several related domains ” or “She failed to recognize that hard work was the only way to persue the goals”.

Main Differences Between Pursue and Persue

  1. Pursue is a widely used verb and found in the English dictionary, whereas persue is an obsolete form of the verb and not found in the English dictionary.
  2. Pursue can be used as a transitive as well as an intransitive verb, whereas persue is a transitive verb in the third person form.
  3. Pursue signifies active participation and concentration in action, while persue signifies passive participation in the action.
  4. Pursue is a new word while persue is an old word and is considered as an old spelling of ‘pursue’.
  5. Pursue has a specific intent and determination to capture or chase something, while persue does not have any specific or particular intent of capturing or chasing a goal.

Correct Usage: ‘Pursue’

Examples in Sentences

‘Pursue’ is the correct spelling of the word, and it means to chase or follow something, such as a goal, dream, or person. Here are a few examples of sentences using the word ‘pursue’:

  1. You have decided to pursue a career in medicine.
  2. After much thought, she chose to pursue her passion for painting.
  3. The detective continued to pursue the leads in the case.

How to Use in Conversations

When engaging in conversations, using the word ‘pursue’ can provide clarity and convey your intentions more effectively. Here’s how to apply it in various contexts:

  1. When discussing plans or goals: “Are you planning to pursue a degree in engineering?”
  2. When talking about hobbies or interests: “During my free time, I like to pursue photography.”
  3. When mentioning a romantic interest: “He has been trying to pursue her for months.”

Remember to always spell it as ‘pursue’ and not ‘persue’, which is an incorrect spelling of the word. Make sure to keep the tone professional when using the word ‘pursue’ and maintain the second person point of view (you, your, yours) throughout your writing and conversations.

Spelling Misinterpretation: ‘Persue’

Common Spelling Mistakes

Persue is a commonly misspelled version of the word “pursue.” The correct spelling contains two “u”s instead of an “e” after the “p,” making it “pursue.” This mistake is likely to occur because of the pronunciation, which might lead you to assume that “persue” is the right spelling. Remember, the correct spelling is “pursue.”

Impact of Incorrect Usage

Using the incorrect spelling “persue” may lead to confusion in written communication and make your text appear unprofessional. As a writer, it’s essential to pay attention to such details to ensure clear and effective communication. In the professional world, using incorrect spelling, especially in formal documents or emails, could negatively impact your reputation and credibility.

To avoid these potential problems, make sure to use the correct spelling, “pursue,” in all your written communications. This improvement will not only increase the clarity of your message but also showcase your attention to detail and professionalism.

Grammatical Classification

As a professional, it’s essential to understand the grammatical classification and proper usage of the words pursue and persue. This will help you convey your ideas accurately and maintain the clarity of your writing.

The word pursue is classified as a verb, meaning “to follow or chase after something or someone, to catch or achieve it.” In a sentence, you might see it used like this: “You decided to pursue your dream of becoming a doctor.” It’s important to remember that the correct spelling of this word is “pursue” rather than “persue.”

On the other hand, persue is an obsolete form of the word “pursue.” Although it may have been used in the past, it is no longer considered a correct spelling in English dictionaries. Nowadays, using “persue” in place of “pursue” would be regarded as a misspelling.

To further support your understanding, here are a few more examples of the proper usage of the verb “pursue” in a sentence:

  • The company expanded its efforts to pursue new business opportunities.
  • They had to pursue their claims through the courts.
  • She decided not to pursue the matter any further.

In conclusion, being aware of the grammatical classification of these terms and using them correctly in your writing will add credibility to your work, avoid confusion, and ensure effective communication with your readers.

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Synonyms and Antonyms

‘Pursue’ Synonyms and Antonyms

‘Pursue’ is a commonly used verb that refers to following or chasing after someone or something, or striving to achieve a goal. When considering synonyms and antonyms for ‘pursue,’ one may select from several words with a similar meaning. Some synonyms for ‘pursue’ are:

  • chase
  • track
  • follow
  • seek
  • run after

These synonyms can be used interchangeably in various contexts to convey the same meaning as ‘pursue.’ For example, you might say “He decided to follow a career in medicine” or “She seeks to achieve her dreams of becoming an actor.”

On the other hand, antonyms of ‘pursue’ convey the opposite meaning. Some antonyms for ‘pursue’ include:

  • avoid
  • ignore
  • neglect
  • abandon
  • give up

These antonyms can be used to express the idea of not chasing or seeking something, such as “He decided to ignore the opportunity to advance his career” or “She gave up on her dream of becoming an actor.”

‘Persue’ Synonyms and Antonyms

The term ‘persue’ is actually a misspelling of the word ‘pursue’ and, therefore, doesn’t have its own set of synonyms or antonyms. Always ensure you use the correct spelling ‘pursue’ in your writing to avoid confusion and maintain a professional tone. Remember, it’s essential to proofread your work and check for spelling mistakes to portray your message accurately and effectively.

Common Misconceptions in Application

In the world of linguistics, the distinction between “pursue” and “persue” tends to create confusion for many. While both these words appear to be similar, they differ in a significant way. In this section, you will delve into some common misconceptions and misunderstandings when using these words.

First and foremost, it is vital to clarify that “pursue” is the correct spelling, while “persue” is considered an incorrect or non-existent word. Many people mistakenly interchange these terms, which can potentially impact the overall meaning or professionalism of their writing. “Pursue” means to follow, chase, or strive towards an objective, dream, or person. For instance, “She decided to pursue her dream of becoming a scientist.”

Another misconception revolves around the past tense of “pursue.” Often, people wrongly write “persued” while the accurate past tense is “pursued.” As an example, “He pursued a career in the technology industry.”

To avoid such mistakes, you can employ the following tips:

  • Double-check your spelling: The probability of misspelling words tends to increase while typing quickly or without paying attention. Always take a moment to review your text to ensure that you have used “pursue” and its derivatives correctly.
  • Use memory aids: To remember the correct spelling, keep in mind that “pursue” contains two “u” letters. Associating the word “pursue” with a phrase like “double the effort” could be a helpful mnemonic device.
  • Leverage writing tools: In today’s digital age, numerous writing applications and tools, such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid, can assist you in identifying and correcting spelling errors in real-time.

By addressing these misconceptions and applying the tips mentioned above, you can enhance the accuracy and credibility of your writing. Remember, “pursue” is the correct term, and using it appropriately will help you effectively communicate and achieve your intended message.

Interactive Exercises to Improve Understanding

To enhance your grasp on the difference between “pursue” and “persue,” consider engaging in a few interactive exercises. These activities will not only reinforce your understanding of the correct use of “pursue,” but also help you avoid incorrectly using “persue,” which is not a valid word in the English language.

Fill in the Blank Exercise:

Fill in the blank with either “pursue” or “persue” in the following sentences:

  1. She decided to _____ a career in journalism.
  2. To _____ his dream of becoming an actor, he moved to Los Angeles.
  3. The police continued to _____ the suspect through the city.

Word Association Exercise:

For each word provided, indicate whether it is associated with “pursue” (P) or “persue” (incorrect).

  • Dream:
  • Career:
  • Goal:

Sentence Correction Exercise:

Correct the sentences below if the word “persue” appears in it:

  1. He always wanted to persue a degree in engineering.
  2. The hunter decided to persue the deer through the forest.
  3. It is her passion to persue the secrets of the universe.

By practicing and participating in these exercises, your ability to distinguish between “pursue” and “persue” should improve over time. Remember to regularly revisit these activities in order to maintain a strong understanding of the correct usage of “pursue.”

Difference Between Pursue and Persue
  1. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/ielapa.034417653928771

Last Updated : 09 September, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Pursue vs Persue: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The breakdown of ‘pursue’ and ‘persue’ was very detailed and educational. I appreciate the effort put into explaining the distinctions between the two words.

  2. The explanation given about the different meanings and uses of ‘pursue’ and ‘persue’ is very detailed and informative. Thank you for clarifying the differences between the two words. I’ll make sure to use ‘pursue’ correctly the next time!

  3. The comparison table was particularly helpful in understanding the differences between ‘pursue’ and ‘persue’. Great work!

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  7. The distinctions between ‘pursue’ and ‘persue’ are now clear to me. Thank you for the detailed information. Just what I needed!

    • Glad you found the article helpful, Bethany64! Language nuances can be quite challenging, but understanding them is crucial.


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