• Ann

Convenient?

What is the difference between: 'convenient' and 'convenience' ? convenient is an adjective. We can use it in two ways: 1. After a ‘be’ verb Home delivered meals are convenient. Pasmo prepaid transport cards are convenient. ‘No-wash’ rice is convenient. 2. Before a noun The Haneda Monorail is a convenient way to get to downtown Tokyo from the airport. The iPad is a convenient device. 9:00am is the most convenient time for me. So how about ‘convenience’? Well, it is an easy word, but not so common. That is, we don't use it very much, and often it is in written English. That's because it is a noun, but an abstract noun (not a thing we can see and touch). In writing it is quite formal: Please reply at your earliest possible convenience. = Please reply as soon as you can. Make an appointment at your convenience. = Make an appointment when it is a good time for you. Some people make a mistake and say ‘convenient store’, but it should be ‘convenience store’. In this case it is a noun + noun. The first noun acts like an adjective. There are some other common examples in this pattern: computer mouse doghouse table lamp So why do we say ‘convenience store’ and not ‘convenient store’? That is because ‘convenience store’ is the name of a type of store - we use that name for that special kind of store. There are other examples, too: department store gasoline stand petrol station police station football club If you use the adjective, you mean only THAT store is nice for you: Daimaru is a convenient store for me to shop at because I often go to Tokyo Station. By the way, the word ‘store’ is more American English and the word ‘shop’ is more British English when we talk about small businesses. However, ‘department store’ is the same in both the USA and USA, though a lot of people tell you the exact store they go to: “I like to go shopping at Harrods.”

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