I can not understand the difference when employ is a noun.

So somebody help me to show the difference between employ and employment.

  • 1
    The use of employ in the sense of employment (in certain contexts) is essentially idiomatic-literary. It is used in set phrases, idiomatic expressions and for 'effect' to sound officious. It is also popular in news reporting. – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:29
  • @Kris Thank you, and Employ is just an archaic form of employment is still true? – Rong Nguyen Feb 12 '14 at 7:35
  • Please see my comment at Noah's answer. It's archaic only in a certain sense. It's is still used in legalese, press reports, literary works, ... – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:40
  • ... A few minutes back, Business Day reported: The fact is, GI — as the good folk on Twitterville like to call Igesund — has managed to infuriate the kind of people no coach in the employ of the South African Football Association (Safa) should ever think about rubbing up the wrong way. bdlive.co.za/sport/soccer/2014/02/12/… – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:42
  • I think @Noah need to update his answer :-) – Rong Nguyen Feb 12 '14 at 7:49

There's no difference between the two. Employ is just an archaic form of employment. That said, the verb form of employ is the same as the archaic form, so to avoid confusion, it's better to use employ as a verb and employment as a noun.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I think it is archaic only in one sense and not generally as a noun. Please check again. – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:20
  • @Kris: That's true. But the OP is not asking for that. If need be I can include that. – Noah Feb 12 '14 at 7:25
  • 1
    However, that's what you have stated as part of the answer, right? – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:26

Employ is a verb.
Employment is a noun.

For example

I would like to employ (verb) John.
John was desperately looking for new employment (noun) after having been laid off.

You can use employ as a noun, such as in this example: "John found himself in his brother's employ." However, that type of use is archaic and quite uncommon; I would recommend against using it as a noun so as to avoid confusing people.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    The usage of employ as a noun is correct usage, but a bit archaic. It sounds bit high falootin' . . . :P – David M Feb 12 '14 at 5:56
  • Also, "employ" can often mean "use", while "employment" almost never does. – David Schwartz Feb 12 '14 at 6:09
  • @IQAndreas I think my question is clear, i mean employ is noun when compare. Thank for your answer :-) – Rong Nguyen Feb 12 '14 at 6:40
  • 1
    When you are 'not sure' of the usage, how would you make a categorical statement at the opening of the answer that "Employ is a verb"? thefreedictionary.com/employ – Kris Feb 12 '14 at 7:19
  • @Kris What I meant was, I know some people use employ as a noun in practice. What I didn't know was whether their usage of the word is incorrect grammar or not. (but thanks for the link, I adjusted the wording of the answer accordingly) – IQAndreas Feb 12 '14 at 8:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.