Hearing the terms ‘bi-weekly’ and ‘semi-monthly’ might sound confusing if you’ve never come across them before. So, what’s the difference between these phrases, and what do they mean exactly? We’ll cover all of this below and teach you how to pronounce both words, as well as use them in a sentence correctly.
In short, the difference between these two terms is:
These terms sound like they’d mean the same thing, but the difference is slight.
People often think these terms both mean the same thing, but they actually differ slightly in meaning.
You would think that since there are generally four weeks in every month, these would equal the same thing.
But they don’t. Let’s take a closer look at what they both mean in a bit more detail.
The difference between ‘semi-monthly’ and ‘bi-weekly’ when it comes to payroll is that the number of checks you get is slightly different.
Also, with a bi-weekly pay schedule, your check amounts would be lower, but your paydays would be consistent. On the other hand, if you got paid semi-monthly, you’d get higher paycheck amounts and inconsistent paydays.
While they have slightly similar meanings, they don't sound the same, which means they can't be homophones.
Wondering what the dictionary says about these two phrases? Let’s take a look.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘bi-weekly’ as occurring every two weeks or occurring twice a week.
The same dictionary defines ‘semi-monthly’ as twice a month.
Are you wondering how to pronounce these two phrases? Here’s a short guide.
We’ve finally got the meaning and the pronunciation down. Now, let’s move on to seeing some sentence examples, starting with ‘bi-weekly.’
Now, let’s see some examples of ‘semi-monthly.’
To recap, we learned that the difference between these two terms is:
They sound like they’d mean the same thing, but there’s a bit of a difference.
If you ever get stuck on anything, you can always come back here for a quick refresher. We've also got a whole library of content on other confusing words and phrases you might see while learning the language. And it's yours for the reading. Go check it out.
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