Hello,

Could anyone tell me what's the difference between 'officer' and 'official'? Are they interchangeable?

Thanks in advance~Emotion: smile
Junior Member75
One is a noun, one is an adjective, and there is no overlap between them.
A police officer. A naval officer. An officer of the court.

Can you suggest a sentence in which you could possibly confuse one for the other?
Veteran Member27,495
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Hi,
My dictionary also offers 'official' as a noun: a person holdng office or engaged in official duties.
eg Officials at the Ministry of Silly Walks refused to comment.

An officer, as in the examples quoted above by GG, tends to be someone who has a legal duty or responsibility, sometimes requiring the taking of an oath. We do speak eg of officers of a company, but these are normally Directors, the President, the Treasurer, ie people who have fiduciary positions.

Clive
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You're totally right, Clive. Of course an official can be a noun. For some reason, my brain got stuck on the adjective version.
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CliveMy dictionary also offers 'official' as a noun: a person holdng office or engaged in official duties.
eg Officials at the Ministry of Silly Walks refused to comment.

Thanks, Clive. I'm still a bit confused here. Eg, can I use 'police official', 'naval official', or 'Officers at the Ministry of Silly Walks '? Is there any general rule for me to choose between these two words?
Hi,

None of those examples sound correct, for the reasons I already explained.

Clive
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Anonymous:
A. An officer
1- a person who is in a position of authority in the armed forces: army / air- force / naval officers
2- a person who is in a position of authority in the government or a large organization
3- (used as a form of address) = POLICEOFFICER
4- a title for a police officer
B. An official
1. Noun (often in compounds) a person who is in a position of authority in a large organization. For example, My father has been an economic official in Vina-milk company in Vietnam.
2. Adjective. Connected with a work of some person who has a position of authority. For example, as a financial manager my father has official responsibility to monitor all financial activities and movements of the money in his company.

This is my answer, hoping you can understand the difference between an officer and an official

Cheers

TamV. in Denmark
Anonymous:
Dear TamV

Thank you for your explanation. It is clear for me now!

Best
Fiona
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