Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a tangible reward.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The reward was tangible.”)
Something tangible is able to be touched. That is, it's real and definite; you could literally poke it with your finger.
Equally useful is the opposite: something intangible is not able to be touched. Intangible things are vague, indefinite, or abstract. You can't literally poke them with your finger.
tangibly, tangibility/tangibleness, intangible, intangibly, intangibility/intangibleness
How to use it:
We recently took a look at "palpable," which usually means "so strong that it's as if you could touch it although you can't actually do that."
You can use both "palpable" and "tangible" to mean "touchable," although it seems more common to use "tangible" for that meaning of "literally touchable."
So, talk about tangible rewards or tangible benefits, tangible results or a tangible impact, tangible reform or change, tangible evidence or proof, and so on.
The opposite word, "intangible," is really useful to describe things that you can't touch but are still very real: intangible rewards or intangible benefits, intangible results or an intangible impact, and so on.
I have to report also that "tangible" does sometimes mean "almost touchable," "so strong that it's practically touchable," just like our word "palpable." Out of personal preference, I use "palpable" for that meaning and save "tangible" for when I mean "concretely able to be touched." But y'all do what you want. :)
Tangible rewards like stickers and toys do work really well to get kids to do what you want, but only in the short term.
Watching a student beam with pride after writing an excellent paragraph is just one of the many intangible benefits of being a tutor.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "tangible" means when you can explain it without saying “concrete" or "real."
Think of an idea you believe in or would like to believe in, and fill in the blanks: "I may not have any tangible proof for _____, but still, _____."
Or, if you're more skeptical: "I don't have any tangible proof for it, so there's no reason to believe _____."
Example: "I may not have any tangible proof for the existence of an afterlife, but still, I'd love to believe that there is one."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for July is called A Verbal Tour of the US. I’ll ask you a trivia question each day this month about the names of US cities, states, geographic features, etc. Try it out each day, and see the right answer the next day. Happy verbal trails to you!
To a resident of the northeastern US, what does the acronym HOMES stand for?
Answer: “HOMES” helps us remember the names of all the Great Lakes of North America: Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Superior.
Try this one today:
This funny-sounding term means “a long ridge with sharp crests.” An example of one is Dinosaur Ridge, in Colorado. There are some in Wyoming, too. The term is a compound word—the first half of it is an animal, and the second is a body part. What is the term?
A Point Well Made:
Steve Jobs: "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired...was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
1. One opposite of TANGIBLE is
2. Some have argued that focusing on _____ detracts from its more important but intangible benefits.
A. the joy we experience from growing our own food
B. the monetary value of a college degree
C. the intellectual demands of a rigorous course
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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