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Have you ever felt like your hard work deserved a bigger reward, or perhaps a minor mistake didn’t warrant a harsh punishment? In these situations, we’re yearning for a sense of proportionality, a feeling that things should be in balance. The word “commensurate” captures exactly that concept.

What Does “Commensurate” Mean?

At its core, “commensurate” means “corresponding in size, degree, or amount.” It can also mean “proportionate” or “appropriate.” Here are the key areas where it pops up:

  • Compensation: “Employees should receive a salary commensurate with their skills and responsibilities.” (Meaning pay should match the level of work).
  • Consequences: “The punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.” (Meaning severe crimes should have severe consequences).
  • Effort vs. Results: “The team’s dedication was commensurate with their outstanding project results.” (Meaning their effort was in line with the success achieved).

Roots of the Word

“Commensurate” has its origins in Latin. It combines the prefix “com-” (meaning “with” or “together”) and “mensurare” (meaning “to measure”). Therefore, it’s literally about things being “measured together” in an appropriate way.

Using “Commensurate” Correctly

Here’s a guide to using this word effectively:

  • DO use it in discussions of fairness and balance: “In a healthy negotiation, both parties should leave with benefits commensurate with their contributions.”
  • DO use it to emphasize соответствие: “Her newfound confidence was finally commensurate with her incredible talent.”
  • DON’T use it simply as a fancy word for “equal”: Things can be commensurate without being identical in every way. It’s more about proportionality and appropriateness.
  • DON’T overuse it: Like any sophisticated word, “commensurate” is best used thoughtfully, not sprinkled everywhere to sound smart.

Boost Your Vocabulary Power

“Commensurate” is a word that adds precision and depth to your communication. Whether discussing salary negotiations, legal matters, or simply the balance between effort and reward, this word gives you the linguistic tools to express those ideas with clarity and a touch of elegance.


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<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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