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06 / 07 / 2007

ENHANCE vs. IMPROVE (REVISION): meaning and examples

Good morning.

Recently we received the following question from Marc Cuxart:

Good morning Mathew. I would like to know in which terms you can use the word "enhance" and what does it mean. Thanks in advance,
Regards, Marc C.

Back in February we answered a very similar question from F. Solana:

Could you please tell me the difference between enhance and improve.
Best regards. F. Solana

Therefore, today we review that Daily Vitamin from February (2007).

Enhance means: to increase or further improve the good quality, value or status of something. To make something better or more attractive. 

Improve means: to become better than before. To make something better than before.

As you can see, the words are synonymous. When referring to other things, they can both be translated to Spanish as mejorar

Example 1:
They used advertising to enhance the reputation of the company.
They used advertising to improve the reputation of the company.

However, enhance must always take an object. You can only enhance other things, so you cannot translate enhance as mejorarse

Example 2:
He has been very ill, but now he feels better; the doctor says that he will continue to improve.

***He has been very ill, but now he feels better; the doctor says that he will continue to enhance.*** (INCORRECT!!)

Example 3:
The service that the company offers has improved a lot since last year, and the advertising campaign is helping to enhance its reputation.

So, the main difference between these verbs is structural: enhance always takes an object, and improve can take an object or it can be intransitive (without an object).

Please post any questions about today's Daily Vitamin in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website.

I hope you have a good day.