Apprise & Appraise

While translating a commercial telecoms contract, from Brazilian Portuguese into English, I had the opportunity to use the word “apprise”.

This is not a word I use, or find used, very often because an alternative word, such as “inform” or “notify” is usually used instead.

I thought it a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge on the difference between these two very similar words.

To apprise: something means to inform or to notify.
For example: “Please apprise the director of the results of yesterday´s meeting.”

To appraise: something means to evaluate or to assess.
For example: “We always appraise our staff against our performance targets.”

Appraise is often used in error, when apprise is meant but this doesn´t seem to happen often the other way around, perhaps because “apprise” is so little used.

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