Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Week and Weak


What is the difference between ‘week’ and ‘weak’? The two words are pronounced exactly the same and differ only by a letter in spelling. However, their meanings are completely different and unrelated.

‘Week’ is a noun and refers to a period of seven days in a row. Generally, it is used to mean the established Sunday through Saturday that occupies a row in a standard calendar, but it can mean any consecutive seven day period. For example: What are you doing this week? This example refers to the standard calendar week. Another example: I am going on vacation for a week. This refers to a week of any seven days together in a row. In British English, ‘week’ is commonly used to mean a time seven days before or after a specific date. For example: Last Monday week, I started my new job. Finally in Business English, ‘week’ is used to mean the days from Monday through Friday when people usually work. For example: I get two weeks paid vacation. This statement means an equivalent of the total of 10 days of pay, not 14, because ‘week’ means working days only. It is understood in a working or business context, that ‘week’ refers only to the days a person normally works in a week.

‘Weak’, on the other hand, has an entirely different meaning. It means having little physical power or ability, as in not strong. This can be used to mean physical strength or vigor. For example: I felt weak after having the flu all week. When used in conjunction with a body part, it means easily upset. For example: She has a weak stomach, and can’t take smelly foods. ’Weak’ can also be used with inanimate objects to indicate having little power, intensity or force. For example: The light became very weak before it died out. As well, it can mean not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure or strain, and therefore not able to resist external forces or attack. Because of this, the object is thought likely to break or stop working. For example: Be careful what you put on that table, it is weak. ‘Weak’ can, too, mean that something is diluted or deficient in the necessary ingredients. For example: That coffee is too weak. In a chemical sense related to this, it can refer to something that ionizes only slightly in solution, such as a weak acid or base.

In a more abstract sense, ‘weak’ can mean not firmly decided or unsure. Along with this is the meaning, it can be used mean to not be able to withstand persuasion or temptation. For example: His resolve not to eat the dessert was weak. ‘Weak’ can likewise take on the meaning of not well grounded or factual. For example: Her argument on the subject was very weak. A person may also say that they are weak at doing something, meaning that their skills are lacking. For example: Math is my weakest subject. Finally, ‘weak’ has a linguistic meaning, in which it means little or no stress. For example: That is a weak syllable and not stressed.

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