Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Experience or experiment?

from English Grammar Today

We use experience as a verb when something happens to us, or we feel it. It is rather formal:

I experienced a feeling of deep sadness as I entered the refugee camp.

Customers have experienced problems in finding parking places at the mall.

Warning:

We don’t use live instead of experience:

How children behave when they grow up depends on what they experience during early childhood.

Not: … what they live during early childhood.

Experiment as a verb means ‘try something in order to discover what it is like or to find out more about it’:

Scientists have experimented with liquids and gels in which plants can grow artificially.

I wish the government would stop experimenting with new teaching methods for our kids every couple of years.

Warning:

We don’t use experiment when we are talking about feelings or things which happen:

She suddenly experienced a sensation of homesickness.

Not: … experimented a sensation

The company’s Asia branch experienced a sharp drop in profits in 2007.

Not: … experimented a sharp drop

(“Experience or experiment ?” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More