How does the verb afford contrast with its synonyms?
Some common synonyms of afford are bestow, confer, donate, give, and present. While all these words mean "to convey to another as a possession," afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver.
the trees afford shade
a development that affords us some hope
When is bestow a more appropriate choice than afford?
The words bestow and afford can be used in similar contexts, but bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver.
bestow unwanted advice
When would confer be a good substitute for afford?
In some situations, the words confer and afford are roughly equivalent. However, confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor).
confer an honorary degree
When can donate be used instead of afford?
The words donate and afford are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity).
donate a piano to the orphanage
When is it sensible to use give instead of afford?
The meanings of give and afford largely overlap; however, give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.
gave her a ride on a pony
give my love to your mother
When might present be a better fit than afford?
Although the words present and afford have much in common, present carries a note of formality and ceremony.