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Is It Taut or Taunt? How to Use These Correctly?

Is It Taut or Taunt? How to Use These Correctly?

While the English language is always straightforward, this is far from the case. The reality is that there are various cases where the similarities in spelling and pronunciations of English words may confuse someone. That is why you might be asking, is it taut or taunt? How to use these correctly?

"Taut" is an adjective that describes when something is pulled tight, strained, tensed, or controlled both figuratively and literally. "Taunt" can mean a noun that describes a remark that mocks or teases someone. It can also function as a verb that describes the act of mocking or teasing someone. 

As you can see, the use of both words is different. So, you are wondering how best to differentiate them. And of course, if there is more to their distinction. Well, we have got you covered. In this article, we will dive into the details.

taut word in dictionary

When to and How to Use the Word "Taut" in a Sentence

We will begin by explaining when and how to use the word "taut" in a sentence. Now, for us to do this, you need to understand the meaning of the word. That is, what thoughts it conveys when you use it in a sentence. Also, you need to understand the way it functions in a sentence.

We bet you are wondering all about this. Well, that is why we are here. First, what part of speech is the word "taut," and what function does it perform in a sentence.

The word "taut" is an adjective. In turn, just like other adjectives, it functions to qualify or describe a noun in a sentence. For instance, when you say, "the man is tall," the adjective in the sentence is "tall," and what it does is describes the noun. This is the same as the word "taut." It functions to describe the noun in the sentence.

Next up, what description does the word "taut" provide to a noun in a sentence? Precisely, what does the word "taut" mean?

When you use the word "taut" in a sentence, the meaning you convey is that something is pulled tight, strained, and tensed. It also means that something is controlled. In turn, keep in mind that you can use this word either in the figurative sense or in the literal sense.

The origin of this word is traceable to Middle English and the mid-thirteenth century. The root word was "toght" and "tohte" respectively. Both words convey something pulled tight or stretched. In turn, this is where the current usage of the word emanated from.

If you are still wondering when and how to use the word "taut" in a sentence, then here is what you need to know. You use the word "taut" in a sentence when you want to convey the meaning that something is strained, tensed, or pulled tight. Now, when it comes to how, you use the word as an adjective in a sentence.

Now that we have cleared that up, here are some examples illustrating how to use the word in a sentence.

  1. I find myself writing a taut letter to my wife every time I miss her.
  2. I am mostly glad for my taut scooter as I hardly need to get any major repair done.
  3. It was a taut thriller that got everyone excited about what was to come.

When to and How to Use the Word "Taunt" in a Sentence

Next up, we will consider when and how to use the word "taunt" in a sentence. As we did above, we will need to dive into the meaning of the word and its functions to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the word and its usage. So, what does the word mean, and how does it function in a sentence?

The first thing you want to understand is that the word "taunt' can perform two functions in a sentence. Generally, the meaning of the word is the same. However, the function it performs will depend on how you use the word in a sentence. So, what are the functions that the word "taunt" can perform in a sentence?

taunt spelled in wooden blocks

You can use the word "taunt" in a sentence as a noun. When you use it as a noun, it means you use it as a naming word. In turn, it acts as the object or subject of a sentence. For instance, when you say, "Mary is an excellent footballer." The word "Mary" and "footballer" are both nouns. As you can see them, it names someone.

So, in the case of "taunt," what does it mean when you use the word as a noun in a sentence? Well, when you use the word "taunt" as a noun, you name a remark that mocks someone or provokes them. So, you use the word "taunt" in a sentence as a noun to name a provocative remark or one directed to mock someone.

Here are a few examples that should help you better grasp the use of the word "taunt" as a noun in a sentence.

  1. There is a reason why people call you a taunt; after all, I have found you taking joy in making funny remarks about people.
  2. I do not think he is a taunt; I just find him a playful person who tries to lighten the mood at all times.
  3. I think you should take precautions so that people do not tag you as a taunt; it is not a tag you want to carry throughout your undergraduate years.

You can use the word "taunt" as a verb in a sentence. In this instance, the word function to depict action. For instance, when you say, "I gave him money." In this case, the word "gave" is the verb and depicts the release of money to someone else. It is in this sense that the word "taunt" gets used as a verb. It conveys something doing something.

So, what action gets performed when you use the word "taunt" as a verb in a sentence?

When you use the word "taunt" in a sentence as a verb, you convey the act of mocking or teasing someone with various statements or actions. However, in this instance, the intent of teasing such an individual is more hateful than normal teasing.

The use of this word, in this sense, finds its root in the French word "tanter," which means to tempt or provoke someone. In turn, you use the word when you want to convey that someone is teasing someone. Of course, this use is restricted when you place the word as a verb in a sentence.

Here are some examples that will help illustrate the use of the word "taunt" as a verb.

  1. I know he thinks he is smart, and he would refuse my requests, but I plan to taunt him till he succumbs to my demands.
  2. It is not enough that he is smarter than most people of his age; he also has to go on and taunt others about it.
  3. I see no reason why my neighbor taunts his wife every day, even while we all know she has a very short temper.

As you can see from both usages above, the word "taut" is different from the word "taunt" in both usage and meaning. You cannot use them interchangeably in a sentence. Instead, you need to understand the meaning of each word and apply them accordingly in a sentence.

Understanding the Difference Between Both Words

Now that we have cleared up the meaning of both words using them should be easier than ever. Yes, they sound somewhat similar. However, they convey a different meaning. In turn, you will need to be conscious that the meaning you convey is the appropriate one.

However, we understand that while reading this has been helpful, remembering which might be tricky. After all, you most likely do not have time to read this article over and over again. Of course, you could bookmark it if you would love that.

Still, regardless of your schedule, we have got you covered. Here is a trick that will allow you to remember the appropriate word easily.

You would realize that the word tight does not have an "n." If you are trying to convey that something is pulled tight, you need to go for the word without "n" in it. In such cases, you will need to opt for the word "taut."

On the other hand, if you are interested in conveying that someone is teasing somebody, then here is what you need to remember. The word "teasing" has an "n" in it. So, you want to use the word with an "n" in it. In such a case, you will be opting for the word "taunt."

people talking and mocking girl

Final Thoughts

You cannot avoid cases where you are left to wonder which word should I use in the English language. One of such cases is with "taut" and "taunt." Well, you do not have to worry about it anymore as we have explained it all here. So, read up and stay corrected whenever you use these in your writing.

Additional reading: Poppa Vs Papa, Are Both Of These Correct?