Hi, folks,

Could you tell me when I can use the word "correct" instead of "right" ?

For example : Your answer is right or Your answer is correct.

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"Right" and "correct" are synonyms! But "correct" is more formal than "right". You can use one of them with answers, facts, methods... etc. Both of your examples are ok! "Correct" and "right" mean they contain no mistakes or break no rules. But do NOT use "correct" about people. Use "right".

For example: "You are right" - nobody uses "You are correct."

Is my explanation clear? Hope it helps!

Emotion: big smile Very clear! Thank you very much Tammy!

Luciana (Brasil)
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My question was answered. Thanks Tammy.
TammyBabyBut do NOT use "correct" about people. Use "right".
For example: "You are right" - nobody uses "You are correct."

Hello Tammy Baby

I am surprised to know your answer is different from what is written in my dictionary. My dictionary (Oxford English Dictionary, 2002 CD version) is rather old one and it describes usages of words in the Great Britain's dialect of English. So I'm afraid the explanation of "correct" in the dictionary might be wrong. Do you think I had better throw this bad dictionary into a garbage box?

correct : adjective
2. in accordance with fact, truth, or reason; free from error; exact, true, accurate; right. Said also of persons, in reference to their statements, scholarship, acquirements, etc.

[1705 Addison] Monsieur Misson has wrote a more correct Account of Italy than any before him. [1711 H. Felton], Always use the most correct editions. [1790 C. M. Graham] The correctest idea we can form of the equity of our maker. [1820 in Picton L'pool Munic] Leaving to their correcter judgment to decide. [1831 Macaulay] Mr. Hunt is, we suspect, quite correct in saying that. [1875 Jevons Money]This definition will be correct. [1875 Ure] When the author returns his proof and revise, and is satisfied that the sheet is correct. [1875 Ure] Care is taken that the pages are correct, and that the ‘signatures’ are in order. [1882 Croker] On reference to the correct card, they saw 'Captain Campbell's Tornado; scarlet jacket, etc.'

Hey paco,

Your question makes me have to open my dictionary. Thanks God what I remember is right! I read it from Longman Essential Activator. It can be called Synonyms dictionary. Uhm, I think you should take a look at it. Your dictionary and mine are not published from 1 publisher. So I can not say which is correct! Emotion: crying Uhm, I just checked Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary 2004 and it's like you said. The example in O.A.L.D 2004:"Am I correct in saying that you know a lot about wine?"Uhm, dictionaries from Longman and Oxford give different explanation from each other. Emotion: crying But in my opinion, we should use "right" about people because Oxford Dic. does not say that we only can use "correct" about people while Longman Dic. avoid "correct" in this situation. Uhm, it's mad!

What's your opinion, paco? Waiting for your answer!

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Hello Tammy

I don't know which dictionary is right (or correct Emotion: smile ). Some dictionaries might be edited prescriptively and others descriptively. Etymologically speaking, "be correct" is "be set/made right". So using it about persons seems a bit weird. However, it is true that actually many people use "be correct" even when talking about persons. I googled two collocations "he was correct when he said" and "he was right when he said" in three kind of domains. The results are :
AU : "he was correct when he said":23 sites, "he was right when he said":65 hits
UK : "he was correct when he said":7 sites, "he was right when he said": 325 hits
Edu : "he was correct when he said":64 sites, "he was right when he said": 73 hits
AU= Australian domains. UK=UK domains, Edu=US Educational domains

Hi paco,

Thanks for your information! It's really useful and interesting. English is open and it's not surprised when sometimes, it's mad! lolz! Anyway, we should use "right" or "correct" following most people, because of our safety. Lolz! Just a kid! US people are very easy going in using words while UK people seem rather strict. So... uhm, I think in using English words, we should be more careful in UK and can be more freely in US.

Ah, Merry Christmas, paco!

Have yourself a merry Christmas, Tammy!

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