Leave vs. Abandon

Difference between Leave and Abandon 

Leave and abandon are often used interchangeably with each other. This is understandable since they seem to have the same meaning but if we look closely, we can see that there is really a difference in their meaning and connotation. The words should therefore be used precisely and carefully.

Definition of Leave

The word “leave” may mean to go away from or to depart without taking. It is often followed by the preposition “for”, as in the sentence “He is leaving for Paris tonight”. The meanings would depend on the sentences they are used in. For example, a sentence for “to go away from” could be “I will leave the park in an hour” while a sentence for “to depart without taking” could be “He left his gloves at home”.

Definition of Abandon

One meaning of the word “abandon” is to give up completely, as in the sentence “He abandoned his home to live in the forest”. We can see from the sentence that he gave up his home forever in order to live in the forest. The word “abandon” can also give the sense of desertion, as in the sentence “He abandoned his children”.

A brief summary

  • Leave and abandon are often used interchangeably but shouldn’t because they have entirely different meanings and connotations
  • Leave may mean to go away from or to depart without taking while abandon may mean to desert or to give up completely
  • The word “leave” is often followed by the preposition “for”

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