You are writing, and you’ve come to a point wherein you need to use a particular word.
But, as you keep on going, you suddenly want to use a word that means “non-professional” to express an idea that’s dangling in your head more precisely.
You remember the word “mature,” which means “old enough.” However, you get confused as to whether the word for “non-professional” should be spelled “amature” or “amateur.”
You tell yourself, “Geez. Both sound and look alright.” A couple of seconds later, you end up reading the article in front of you today.
Well, welcome, dear language enthusiast! Today, we will learn the difference between “amature” and “amateur” in an easy, yet adequately informative, way.
Let’s begin with a quick answer.
What is the difference between “amature” and “amateur”?
By and large, “amature” is a misspelling of “amateur.” “Amateur” is of French origin and means “a lover of something” such as a field of study or activity. In English, “amateur” generally means “non-professional,” and it can be used either as a noun or an adjective to denote the same meaning.
There is no word “amature”
Whenever you see the word “amature” in a text, you have to understand that you are dealing with a spelling mistake.
Amature is either a wrong spelling for amateur (=beginner, non-professional), immature (=not fully developed) or armature.
In most cases, “amature” is simply the misspelled version of the word “amateur” — a word that means “non-professional,” as pointed out earlier on.
Now that we’ve discussed how the word “amature” is used, as well as the possible reasons behind the various usages, let’s also get to know the word “amateur” in detail.
Getting to know the word “amateur” in detail
“Amateur” can be used either as an adjective or noun in sentences. Despite the difference in the lexical categories or parts of speech, the meaning of the word remains the same.
The word “amateur” is of French origin. In French, “amateur” is a masculine word that means “lover of something,” and the feminine equivalent for “amateur” in the same language is “amatrice.”
In general, an amateur person is someone who is perceived to be a non-professional as opposed to a professional one.
When we describe or refer to a person as a “non-professional,” that person demonstrates an interest, usually to a high extent, in an activity or even a field of study.
However, this person does not necessarily do the activity as a profession, thereby not earning a living from it, or at least not on a regular basis.
The performance level of an amateur person is relatively higher than a beginner but also lower than a professional, as he or she is only executing the activity as a hobby.
For instance, a person who plays volleyball every weekend with his or her friends but does not join competitions to earn a regular income can be called an “amateur athlete” or “amateur volleyball player” to be more precise.
Similarly, a student who loves photography possessing a collection of stunning pictures but does not earn a living out of it may also be called an “amateur photographer.”
Furthermore, in actual contexts, the word “amateur” could become a double-edged sword when used to berate another person for self-indulgence or resentment-related reasons.
This may happen, for example, when another person gets chosen for a particular role instead of the more experienced competitor, just like in job applications or talent show auditions.
By and large, the word “amateur” can be used either to uplift or put a person down, depending on the intent of the language user. Therefore, caution in using the word is advised.
More example sentences for “amateur”
Now that we have understood the possible contexts in which the word “amateur” can be used, let’s also look deeper into the nominal and adjectival usages of the word.
“Amateur” as a noun
Nouns are one of the five major lexical categories in language studies or “parts of speech” as we refer to these linguistic items more often; the other four include verb, adjective, adverb, and preposition.
At a clausal level, a noun can function as either as a subject or object in an utterance, in which the former is a minimum requirement for grammaticality in English.
There are two possible connotations of the noun “amateur,” of which the first one is neutral and formal, while the other is negative and casual.
In the first sense, “amateur” could mean similarly to the words “non-professional,” “non-specialist,” “enthusiast,” or “devotee.”
In the negative sense, however, the word “amateur” could mean “incompetent,” “inept,” “unskilled,” “untalented,” or “inadequate.”
Here are some example sentences using “amateur” as a noun:
This new group of amateurs do not seem to get the idea behind the word “grit.”
By the way, the state of being an amateur can be referred to as “amateurism” in English.
“Amateur” as an adjective
Adjectives are also one of the five major lexical categories in grammar. They are used to modify nominal items in sentences, and they can appear either in the subject or predicate part.
Just like its noun form, the adjective “amateur” also means “non-professional” if we are going to use formal language. As you may figure, it also means “incompetent” in negative contexts.
To make “amateur” as an adjective, simply use it as a pre-modifier to a noun in your sentence. Alternatively, you may also use it at a comparative level by using the pattern “as” plus an “adjective” and one more “as.”
Here’s how you may observe its usages:
An alternative adjective to use for “amateur” is “amateurish” which is used to minimize or downplay the derogatory effect of the word “amateur” in contexts that entail criticisms.
Frequently Asked Questions on “Amature” vs “Amateur”
What does “amateur” mean?
The widely-accepted meaning of “amateur” that bears a formal connotation is “non-professional” or “enthusiast.” In a negative and informal sense, though, “amateur” means “incompetent” or “unskillful.”
What is the correct spelling for “amature”?
The correct spelling of “amature” is “amateur.” The irregular vowel sequence toward the end of the word “amateur” is perpetuated by its French origin.
Like any other activity, the secret to knowing the appropriate spelling of certain words, as well as how they variably work in context, is practice.
The trick is simple. This can be particularly done by constant reading and writing.
Join us again next time for more engrossing language-related discussions!
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.