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General Writing and Grammar Help/Miss, miss out on, pass up, pass on

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are there any differences among the phrases below?

>To miss an opportunity

>To miss out on an opportunity

>To pass up an opportunity

>to pass on an opportunity

If all four are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:


Are there any differences among the phrases below?

>To miss an opportunity

>To miss out on an opportunity

>To pass up an opportunity

>to pass on an opportunity

If all four are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** The word "miss" implies that you had no control over what happened.  However, if you "pass" on something, the meaning is that YOU decided not to avail yourself of it.

EXAMPLES:

I MISSED an opportunity to enter the contest, because I never saw the announcement.

I MISSED OUT on going skiing with my friends, because I had a severe cold and needed to stay in bed.

I PASSED UP the opportunity to study in France this summer.  I needed to work at home to make money for my tuition next year.

I PASSED ON the invitation to attend Jane's party.  Frankly, it was not a hard decision to make, because I really do not like her.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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