Today’s Word: hone

November 14, 2017     =========

☆  hone  (腕を)磨く


Today’s word is one that many native speakers get wrong! To “hone” something means to improve or develop it. So, for example, you can hon a skill, a technique, an idea, or a product and that means that you carefully develop it over a period of time so that it is better or more right for your purpose. For example, the useful phrase, “You need to hone your skills more.” Or “His company has spent a lot of time and money on honing the skills of senior managers.”

Native speakers often mistake this word for “home.” If you home in on something, you move toward that goal or target. In other words, you give all your attention to that thing. For example, “scientists are developing a medicine that is able to home in on the affected areas only and treat the disease.”

Americans will tell you that you can use “hone” or “home” but grammar purists (like me! Ha ha) will say no, they are different!