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English Grammar and Writing Tips:
     Using "Delay", "Cancel", and "Postpone" Correctly

Grammar <<< English Grammar and Writing Tips <<< Using "Delay", "Cancel", and "Postpone" Correctly

:: To delay something means to do it at a later time or to move or act slowly:

I delayed writing my homework until later in the evening. (correct!)
Her boyfriend will arrive with a delay of several days. (correct!)
My colleague was delayed in responding to my message. (correct!)

Note: When a bus, train, plane, or ship is prevented from leaving or arriving on time we say that it is delayed for/by:

The plane was delayed for 30 minutes. (the departure of the plane) (correct!)
The plane was delayed by two hours. (the arrival of the plane) (correct!)
The arrival of the bus has been delayed by a road accident. (correct!)
Tom was delayed by the traffic. (correct!)

:: When we talk about the events that have been arranged in advance we use cancel and postpone.

- to cancel an event means that it will not take place

Kate has just canceled her trip to London. (correct!) (AmE - canceled; BrE - cancelled)
We had to cancel our hotel reservation. (correct!)
My flight from Boston to New York was canceled because of a heavy snow storm. (correct!)

- when we postpone an event it means to take place at a later time than was originally planned

Barbara and Robert postponed their wedding until next year. (correct!)
We had to postpone the meeting for a couple of days. (correct!)

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