inspire and motivate

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  • difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    Well, it might be, but you can inspire an idea (a muse for art etc), without offering any motivation at all.
    You can motivate a person to do something (offering a bribe/promotion etc), but you need not have been the inspiration for the initial idea.

    Mr Badger

    New Zealand, English
    No, they have slightly different meanings.

    inspire - to be the cause of an idea/action/desire, ie to be the reason a person thought of an idea

    motivate - to encourage someone to do something, ie to try to get a person interested in doing something.

    Inspiration refers to an event that made you think of your desire for the first time.
    Motivation refers to the force that keeps you focussed on acheiving your desire.

    maradona inspired my desire to become a football player, but my father motivates me to acheive this desire (maradona was the cause of my desire, my father encourages me to work towards it)

    hope that helps a little


    Senior Member
    I think both inspire and motivate are common in the sense of encourage or stimulate.

    However, in "A inspires B", A may not know that B is inspired by him, or A does not purposely encourage B.

    In "A motivates B", A usually is in a superior position to B (e.g A is a manager and B his worker) and A encourages B purposely so that he can benefit from a motivated B, who may become more loyal, diligent and devoted to his job.
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