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27 / 11 / 2006

EXHIBITION vs. EXPOSITION: meaning and examples

Good morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Today we will look at two words that often cause confusion: exhibition and exposition.

Exhibition means: a collection of things (goods or works of art, etc.) for public display so that people can look at them.

Exposition means: A public event or show of industrial products or technology. 

As you can see, they are very similar in meaning. The difference is what type of other words they group with (or what words they collocate with).

Example 1:
Last weekend I went to a wonderful Art exhibition with my girlfriend; the exhibit included various paintings from the Spanish baroque period, including some by Velázquez.  

Example 2:
Jack: Have you ever been to a Universal Exposition?
Matt: Yes, I want to the Expo in Seville in 1992. I had a great time.

The error usually comes when students use exposition where they should use exhibition. The most typical case is in the context of an ART exhibition. We do NOT usually say an art exposition.

Example 3:
Paul Champlain and Jean Rudolph were largely responsible for a renaissance in art exhibition in Manhattan's Lower East Side during the 80's.

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Have a nice day.