I am seriously wondering if I am misusing the words "example" and "case". To make sure I am well understood I will provide an example:

Borrowing money isn't always bad. An informative example/case is the United States. If the U.S. were to borrow money from another country it can do so at a very low interest rate allowing it to invest much more in the future than less favored nations such as Argentina.

Here, I am thinking "example" may not be the correct word, because I am talking about a country as an "example" and then explaining a hypothetical situation. In this case, the country is not an example and the example is the hypothetical situation. So would you rather use the word "case" in here? Also, what are some of the common misuse of the words "example" and "case"?

1 Answer 1


The distinction between 'example' and 'case' in such a context is not very large, but if you use the word 'case' the reader is likely to expect more analysis than you give in your sentence unless the facts are already very well known as in, say, "Tyrants can be very dangerous; consider the case of Adolf Hitler."

With the word 'example' you may get away with just mentioning it but without more analysis.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .