"Pour" or "pore"?

Although the words pour and pore sound similar, they have different meanings.

Pour can be used in a few different ways, but they all describe something 'flowing in a steady stream'.

  • Most frequently, it describes a liquid or fine-grained substance moving from a container:

Water poured out of the hole in the bucket.

He poured sugar into the coffee.

  • It is also used figuratively for things like money, effort, or emotions:

They poured their life savings into the company in the hopes it would eventually turn a profit.

She poured her heart out in a tearful phone call to her mother.

  • Pour can also describe the movement of a group, as in:

People poured out of the stadium after the match.

People sometimes misuse pour in situations where pore is correct. To pore (over or through) means 'to read or focus on something intently', as in:

She spent all weekend poring over her textbooks in preparation for the exam.

 I pored over the old photographs, fascinated by every detail.

Pore can also be used as a noun meaning 'a tiny opening in a surface', for example the pores in your skin.


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