Instantly enhance your writing in real-time while you type. With LanguageTool

Get started for free
Back to overview

How To Use “Aspire” and “Inspire” Correctly

powered by LanguageTool

There are many words that seem to mean the same thing but don’t, like “aspire” and “inspire.” We’ll teach you what these two words mean and how to always use them correctly.

Aspire vs. Inspire (Difference between aspire and inspire, aspiring to inspire)
“Aspire” and “inspire” aren’t synonyms.
  • Aspire means “to have a strong desire to achieve or become something.”
  • Inspire can mean “to encourage someone,” “to elicit a particular feeling or emotion in someone,” or “to give someone an idea for something.”

“Aspire” vs. “Inspire”

Believe it or not, there’s a difference between aspire and inspire. If you’ve been using these words synonymously, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The similar spelling and pronunciation of these words lead many people to believe that they can be used interchangeably. Do you aspire to learn the difference? After reading this blog post, you’ll know how to use these words correctly and might feel inspired to teach others, too.


What Does “Aspire” Mean?

Let’s start with aspire. This word is a verb that means “to have a strong desire to achieve a goal or to become something.” So, if your goal is to become a doctor, you could say I aspire to become a doctor. Similarly, you could also say I aspire to a career in medicine.

Aspire is usually followed by the word “to.” Here are a few more examples of aspire in a sentence:

We aspire to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Chloe aspires to win the Teacher of the Year award.
I aspire to become a published writer.

There are noun and adjective forms of the word aspire. As a noun, the word is aspiration, which means “a strong desire to have or do something.”

He never had any aspiration to become a lawyer.

There are two adjective forms of the word aspire. Aspirational refers to “wanting to achieve success in your career and improve your social status or standard of living.”

Teachers help mold loving, compassionate, and aspirational children.

Aspirational can also refer to “a goal that is very ambitious.”

The CEO listed three aspirational goals he wanted to reach by the end of the quarter.

Aspiring which is also an adjective means “wanting to become successful in life or in a career that was mentioned.”

Aspiring writers should spend a lot of time reading.
Please Note:

The word aspirate is completely unrelated to the words mentioned above. Instead, it can be used as a noun that means “a consonant that is pronounced with a breath that can be heard.” As a verb, aspirate means “to pronounce something with a breath that can be heard,” “to breathe something in,” or “to remove liquid from a person’s body with a machine.” Additionally, the noun aspiration can also refer to “the action of pronouncing a word with a breath that can be heard.”


What Does “Inspire” Mean?

Inspire, on the other hand, is a verb that means “to give somebody the desire, confidence, or encouragement to do something well,” “to give somebody the idea for something,” or “to evoke a certain feeling in someone.”

Julissa inspired me to continue my education.
I want to inspire children to do their best in whatever they do.
Carly inspired a sense of confidence in her art students.

Although not as common, inspire can also mean “inhale.”

Inspire also has noun and adjective forms. The adjective forms of inspire can be either inspirational, inspired, or inspiring.

Inspirational means “providing exciting or innovative ideas,” or “making somebody want to create something.”

He was inspirational in the sense that he always made us want to be the best versions of ourselves.

Inspired means “having excellent qualities,” or “produced with inspiration.” It can also be used to show that something has been influenced.

It was an inspired performance.

Inspiring means “exciting or encouraging someone to do or feel something.”

She was an inspiring leader.

If you have been inspired, then you have inspiration within you, which is the noun form of this word.

All I needed was a bit of inspiration to get through the semester.
“You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” is a song by Teddy Pendergrass.

LanguageTool: Aspiring To Inspire

Now that you know the difference between these two words, we hope you’re feeling inspired to use them confidently in your writing. And if you aspire to write exceptional texts, make sure to use LanguageTool as your writing assistant. This multilingual text editor will correct any mistakes and also suggest stylistic improvements.


Unleash the Professional Writer in You With LanguageTool

Go well beyond grammar and spell checking. Impress with clear, precise, and stylistically flawless writing instead.

Get started for free
We Value Your Feedback

We’ve made a mistake, forgotten about an important detail, or haven’t managed to get the point across? Let’s help each other to perfect our writing.