shortcoming vs insufficiency

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Senior Member
Dear grammarians on,

Could anyone tell me what the differences between "shortcoming" and "insufficiency" are? The two words are synonyms and have similar meanings, so I couldn't discrimate and use them well. Please tell me more of their usages and exact differences. Also, I want to know under which circumstances which one I should choose.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited:
  • hfp

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'll try to respond in more detail later, but I believe shortcoming is usually used to describe a flaw or fault in someone's character or personality, whereas insufficiency seems to refer to a lack of something. Let me get back to you later on this, though.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm afraid the forum doesn't work that way, changwecanbelievein: it's up to the person posting the question to provide examples.

    To find examples of your two words in use, you can click on the "in context" button in the relevant dictionary entries: shortcoming and insufficiency.
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