Postpone vs. Delay

Difference Between Postpone and Delay

Delay and Postpone are two words that are often confused because of the similarity shown in their use and meaning. They really show some differences between them when it comes to sense that they make and connotations.

The word ‘postpone’ is used to mean ‘keep an event at a later date’ as in the sentence ‘the tournament was postponed to May’. Here ‘postpone’ means that the tournament was moved to a later date in May. In many cases ‘postpone’ is used as antonym of ‘advance’.

On the other hand the word ‘delay’ means ‘ take more time than required’ as in the sentence he has delayed the process by 2 weeks. You would understand that the person took two weeks longer to complete the process. This is the important difference between the two words.

The word ‘delay’ is noun and ‘delaying’ is its adjective form. ‘Postpone’ is a verb and ‘postponement’ is its noun form. This is another difference between the two words.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘delay’ is usually followed by the preposition ‘by’ as in the sentences:

1. The departure of the flight was delayed by10 minutes.

2. The arrival of the bus was delayed by an hour.

In both sentences you would find that the word ‘delay’ was followed by ‘by’.

In some cases the word ‘delay’ is followed by ‘of’. For example, there was a delay of 10 minutes. In this sentence the word ‘delay’ is followed by the preposition ‘of’. These are the differences between the two words.






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