Eminent or Imminent

Eminent or Imminent? What’s the Word Week 1

Think back a few years and imagine you are sitting in your high school history classroom one day, just waiting for the bell to ring, and your teacher walks through the doorway and tells everyone in the classroom: “Class, put your books under your desk and take out a clean sheet of paper.” 

What was about to happen? Pop quiz!


Brings back fond memories, right?


Well, apparently it DOES bring back fond memories for many of you because I’ve been reading your emails and answering your requests, and the resounding request from several blog readers is that you want more grammar quizzes. You like it when we use this weekly post for grammar and punctuation and even spelling tests. Some of you even say they are fun. Whoa—let’s not get carried away!


Personally, I love a good grammar quiz too. I’m a sucker for any kind of quiz, whether it’s for a personality profile or a leadership assessment or even those Facebook quizzes that reveal which “Friend” you are (Answer: Monica) or which character on “NCIS” (Answer: Gibbs). So, for the next few posts I’ve assembled a quiz of the worst words that tend to trip me up the most. These are the words I doubt; these are the words I always have to look up and double check before I use them. 


Today we’re tackling two of them: eminent and imminent. Let’s see how you do in choosing the correct word. Decide upon your answers, and then check your results.


1) Only five [eminent, imminent] professional speakers are inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame each year.


2) Lightning from the thunderstorm was [eminent, imminent], so the referees evacuated the football stadium and postponed the game.


In a moment of vulnerability, I chose the words I often question, and this confusing word pair is near the top of the list. I’ll provide the definitions and then the answers.




Eminent / Imminent

Eminent refers to something outstanding or prestigious. Imminent refers to something happening soon.



  1. eminent
  2. imminent



To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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