Anything objective sticks to the facts, but anything subjective has feelings. Objective and subjective are opposites. Objective: It is raining. Subjective: I love the rain!
Objective is a busy word and that’s a fact. An objective is a goal, but to be objective is to be unbiased. If you’re objective about something, you have no personal feelings about it. In grammar land, objective relates to the object of a sentence. Anyway, people often try to be objective, but it’s easier for robots. Here are examples:
“DNA testing and fingerprint analysis and all that technology stuff is objective, they declare confidently. The machine cannot be fooled.” (Salon)
“Consider checking in with a third party, to get an objective opinion.” (Wall Street Journal)
Subjective , on the other hand, has feelings. Anything subjective is subject to interpretation. In grammar land, this word relates to the subject of the sentence. Usually, subjective means influenced by emotions or opinions. Humans are a subjective bunch and we like it that way! Here’s subjective in the wild:
“Because many of the decisions we made are subjective, there is the possibility of human error in our data set.” (Slate)
“Now, I realize that is totally subjective because there is no standard unit of measurement for fun.” (New York Times)
It’s true that opposites attract. Here are some examples of both words cozying up in the same sentence:
“But now we, as a pathologists, need more objective measures because symptoms, to a certain degree, are subjective.” ( Time)
“We take our unruly, subjective feelings about a year of television and groom them into something that looks mathematical and objective.” (Slate)
Be objective when writing things like summaries or news articles, but feel free to be subjective for arguments and opinions.
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An objective is something you plan to achieve. A military objective is the overall plan for a mission. The objective for a bake sale is to raise money. If your objective is to learn a new word, you have succeeded. Continue reading…