Perspective vs. Prospective

Perspective drawingNot to throw my husband under a bus here, but when he was writing personal statements for graduate school, he kept mixing these two words up. I’ve wanted to do this post for awhile, but it kept getting thrown on the back-burner because of requests. Well today I’m finally tacking the issue, and if you think YOU might mess them up, I suggest you keep reading!

Perspective

Perspective is basically your point of view or the way you see things. It is also an art term to illustrate a particular kind of drawing. It’s typically a noun. For example, “In my perspective, this book is amazing.” It’s the speaker’s view of the book. The prefix per- also means “completely,” so think of it as viewing or seeing something completely.

Prospective

Prospective, on the other hand, is something that looks towards the future. It generally means “potential.” For example, “She is a prospective teacher.” This would mean that the person will be a teacher in the future and is probably working on her degree to teach. The prefix pro- means “forward,” much like future.

Final thoughts

These words DO have two very different meanings though, and they’re especially important in business.  An easy way to remember this is to remember the prefixes, which may help you remember other words in the future as well. Good luck!

Posted in Grammar Quick Fix.