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WHAT IS the difference between "unaware" and "unawares"?

(D. Naresh, Bangalore)

"Unaware" means not aware, in other words, you do not notice or realise what is happening. The stress is on "ware". Here are a few examples.

* Praveen is unaware of the trouble that he is causing.

* The Minister thought that the press was unaware of his illegal activities.

* The film star was unaware of his fan's presence.

When something happens suddenly or unexpectedly, then you are caught "unawares". Since the thing happens without any warning, you are often left confused or embarrassed. Here are a few examples.

* The midnight raid by the dacoits caught the police unawares.

* The President was caught unawares by the sudden criticism in the media.

* Bhaveen was caught unawares and therefore couldn't think of an excuse.

The "s" in "unawares" is pronounced like the "z" in "zoo" and "zip".

S. Upendran

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