Commonly confused words



How to Use Commonly Misused Words

Steps

"Affect" and "Effect"

  1. Use “effect” as instructed.
    • "Effect" is a noun referring to something that happens as a result of something else. E.g., "The antibiotic had little effect on the illness."
    • "Effect" is also a verb meaning to bring something about. E.g., "I have decided to effect a change in the scope of this article."
  2. Use “affect” as instructed.
    • The verb "affect" means to change something in some way. E.g., "His steady gaze affected my ability to breathe."
    • The noun "affect" is used fairly rarely. It refers to a display of an inner state of mind. E.g., "Her affect is subdued this evening."

"Anxious" and "Eager"

  1. Use "anxious” as instructed.
    • When followed by a gerund (the "–ing" verb form), anxiousness refers to anxiety, not pleasant feelings such as enthusiasm or excitement.
      • Ex. “He was anxious about becoming the President." (He had an uncomfortable feeling about it.)
    • When followed with an infinitive ("to" and the verb), anxiousness refers to eager desire.
      • Ex. “He was anxious to become the President."
  2. Use “eager” as instructed.
    • Eagerness conveys enthusiasm and is followed with an infinitive.
    • Ex. “He was eager to become the President." (He was happy about it.)

"Convince" and "Persuade"

  1. Use “convince” as instructed.
    • Convince a person of the truth or validity of an idea.
    • Follow “convince” with "that" or "of."
    • Ex. "The teacher convinced her students that good grammar could aid in communication."
  2. Use “persuade” as instructed.
    • Persuade a person to take action.
    • Follow "persuade" with an infinitive (“to” and the verb).
    • Ex. "The teacher persuaded her students to use good grammar."

"Could of" and "Could have"

  1. Use “could” with “have.” In fact, all modals ("could," "would," "should," "may," "might," "must") use the auxiliary verb "have."
    • “Have” can be contracted as "'ve" (as in "could've" and "couldn't've").
    • Correct: "She could have (or "could've") done it."
  2. Do not use “could” with “of.
    • The same applies to all other modals.
    • Incorrect: "She could of done it."

"Decimate" and "Devastate"

  1. Use “decimate” as instructed.
    • Decimation describes the wiping out of humans. In ancient Rome, “decimate” literally meant "kill one of every ten soldiers."
      • Ex. “The 2010 tsunami in Japan decimated cities and towns along the coast.”
    • Using creative license, you would also be correct in saying something like:
      • “The flu decimated Larry's sixth grade class.” (Everyone will understand that more/less than ten percent were affected and nobody actually died.)
    • Remember that "decimate" is similar to "decimal," which refers to counting by tens.
  2. Use "devastate” as instructed.
    • Devastate means "lay waste to."
      • Ex. “Natural disasters can devastate a region’s buildings, forests, and landscapes.”
    • Devastate also means “overwhelm with negative emotions.”
      • Ex. “A nasty breakup can devastate an individual.”

"Each Other" and "One Another"

  1. Use “each other” as instructed.
    • “Each other” refers to two.
    • Ex. "The two brothers helped each other study."
  2. Use “one another” as instructed.
    • "One another" is used for three or more.
    • Ex. "These five businesses compete with one another."

"E.g." and "I.e."

  1. Use “e.g.” as instructed.
    • "E.g." (exemplī grātiā) means "for example" or "such as."
    • Remember the "e" in "forexample."
    • Ex. “Many photo manipulation programs (e.g. Photoshop, GIMP) have nearly identical functions.”
  2. Use “i.e.” as instructed.
    • "I.e." (id est) means "that is" or "in other words."
    • Remember the "i" in "in other words."
    • Ex. “They recommend that we ‘demonstrate our continued loyalty through pecuniary means’ (i.e. send more money).”

"Good" and "Well"

  1. Use “good” as instructed.
    • "Good" can be an adjective, meaning it describes a noun (person, place, thing, idea).
      • Ex. “It’s a good thing you called.”
    • “Good” can also be a noun.
      • Ex. “Charities do a lot of good in this world.”
  2. Use “well” as instructed.
    • "Well" is an adverb, meaning it can modify verbs and adjectives.
    • Ex. “I’m doing well today, thank you” (as opposed to "I am doing good today," which is incorrect – unless you are doing good things, like Superman).
    • Ex. “This car runs very well” (as opposed to “This car runs good,” which is incorrect).

"Historical" and "Historic"

  1. Use “historical” as instructed.
    • Use "historical" for things that happened in history or pertain to history.
    • Ex. “I've filled my story with historical figures.”
  2. Use “historic” as instructed.
    • Use "historic" for things that wereimportantin history.
    • Ex. “D-Day was a historic moment.”
  3. Use the correct article for both words."An historic" and "a historical" are properonlyif you use the alternative pronunciation with a silent "h." Otherwise, say “a historic” or “a historical.”

"Lay" and "Lie"

  1. Use “lay” as instructed.
    • Lay means "put" or "place." It is a transitive verb, meaning it needs a subject and an object (i.e. subject + “lay” + object).
    • Ex. “She lays bricks for a living.”
    • Ex. “Chickens lay eggs.” (Associating laying with eggs may help you remember its correct usage.)
  2. Use "lie” as instructed.
    • Lie means "rest." It is an intransitive verb and only needs a subject.
    • It’s often with prepositions such as "on" or adverbs such as "here."
    • Ex. “I need to lie down.”
    • Ex. “The dog is lying on the couch again.”
  3. Be careful with the past-tense forms of both verbs.
    • The past tense of “lay” is "laid."
      • Ex. “He laid the glass down gently.”
    • The perfect form of “lay” is “have laid.”
      • Ex. “Luckily, they had laid out the tarp before it started raining.”
    • The past tense of “lie” is "lay."
      • Ex. "I lay in bed yesterday."
    • The perfect form of “lie” is “have lain.”
      • Ex. "I have lain in bed for two hours."

"Prone" and "Supine"

  1. Use “prone” as instructed.
    • "Prone" means lying on your stomach (face down).
    • Ex. “He lay prone in a puddle of his own drool.”
  2. Use “supine” as instructed.
    • "Supine" means lying on your back (face up).
    • Ex. “She lay supine with her eyes fixed on the ceiling fan.”

"Raise" and "Rise"

  1. Use “raise” as instructed.
    • Raise means "lift" and is a transitive verb, meaning it needs a subject and an object (i.e. subject + “raise” + object).
    • Ex. “They voted to raise taxes.”
    • Ex. “Raise the roof!”
  2. Use "rise” as instructed.
    • Rise means "move upward." It is an intransitive verb and only needs a subject.
    • Ex. “His blood pressure rose.”
    • Ex. “Taxes rose 2% last year.” (Of course, theywere raisedby someone, but since that isn’t mentioned in this sentence, “rise” is the correct verb to use.)

"Real" and "Really"

  1. Use “real” as instructed.
    • "Real" is an adjective, meaning it describes a person, place, thing, or concept.
    • Ex. “Is that real gold?”
  2. Use “really” as instructed.
    • “Really” is an adverb that is used to modify adjectives (which modify nouns).
      • Ex. “She’s a really good runner.” (“Really” modifies “good,” an adjective that modifies the noun “runner.”)
    • "Really" is also used to modify adverbs (which typically modify verbs).
      • Ex. “She runs really quickly.” (“Really” modifies “quickly,” an adverb that modifies the verb “runs.”)

"Set" and "Sit"

  1. Use “set” as instructed.
    • Set means "place or put" and is a transitive verb, meaning it needs a subject and an object (i.e. subject + “set” + object).
      • Ex. “He set the book on the table.”
    • Set also means “become stiff or gelatinous” and, in this form, is an intransitive verb that needs only a subject.
      • Ex. “We need to let the concrete set before we let anyone walk on it.”
  2. Use "sit” as instructed.
    • Sit means "take a seat" and is an intransitive verb that only needs a subject.
      • Ex. “Can you get the dog to sit?”
    • Sit also means "make someone take a seat" (often figuratively) and, in this form, is a transitive verb that needs a subject and an object.
      • Ex. “Should we sit him down and talk to him about this?”

"To," "Too," and "Two"

  1. Use "to” as instructed.
    • “To” is a preposition. It’s always correct if you are talking about direction.
      • Ex. “I’m going to the store.”
    • "To" is also used to form the infinitive verb form.
      • Ex. "It is my goal to write one page today."
  2. Use “too” as instructed.
    • “Too" is always an adverb. It’s correct if you can substitute "also."
    • Ex. “Really? I hate that guy, too!”
  3. Use “two” as instructed.
    • "Two" is always a number. You should almost always write out the word "two" rather than using the Arabic number. For mathematical uses, use the Arabic number.
    • Ex. “Please buy two-percent milk this time.”

"Who's" and "Whose"

  1. Use “who’s” as instructed.
    • "Who's" is the contracted form of "who is" and is suitable for use only where the non-contracted form would also be suitable.
    • Ex. "Who's coming to dinner?"
  2. Use “whose” as instructed.
    • “Whose” means “of whom or of which” and is a possessive pronoun, meaning it must be used to modify another noun.
    • Ex. “Whose car is blocking mine in the driveway?"
    • In question form, “whose” can modify a noun that isn’t explicitly mentioned.
    • Ex. “Have you ever heard her music?”
      “Whose?”
      “Kelly’s.”

"Hilarious" and "Hysterical"

  1. Use “hilarious” as instructed.
    • “Hilarious” means arousing great merriment; extremely funny.
    • Ex. “She's my favorite comedian. I think she's hilarious!”
  2. Use “hysterical” as instructed.
    • “Hysterical” has to do with uncontrollable emotions, particularly negative ones.
    • Ex. “Seeing his dog get hit by a car made him hysterical.”
    • Ex. “Her hysterical laughter was off-putting, especially since the joke wasn’t that funny.”

"Check", "Cheque" and "Czech"

  1. Use "Check" as instructed.
    • "Check" is a verb meaning to examine something in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something.
    • Ex. "Can you check the fridge for leftover turkey?"
  2. Use "Cheque" as instructed.
    • "Cheque" is a noun, meaning a written order, usually on a standard printed form, directing a bank to pay money.
    • Ex. "You can receive the money only in the form of a cheque."

NOTE: This spelling is not used in America.

  1. Use "Czech" as instructed.
    • "Czech" is an adjective, meaning relating to Czechs or their language.
    • Ex. "This is my friend Thomas, he is Czech".

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    What is the difference between "that" and "which"? It's been explained to me several times before but I still don't understand.
    Top Answerer
    As a practical matter, there is little or no difference between the words. However, grammarians will tell you this: Use "that" when introducing a restrictive clause (words used to define a previous item in the sentence). An example would be, "The car that is parked over there is very fast." (The clause identifies the specific car.) Use "which" when introducing a non-restrictive clause (words adding information about but not clearly defining a previous item in the sentence). An example would be, "The house which I love costs more than I can afford." (The clause tells a bit more about the house but does not clearly identify it.)
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I use the words "were" and "where"?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    "Were" is a verb. It is the past tense of the word "are." You would say, for example, "They were going to go to the market today." "Where" is an adverb. It describes a location. You could say, "They don't know where you will be going today after work."
    Thanks!
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  • Teachers, do not forget to look at the other wikiHow articles in the English grammar category for additional grammar articles that you can easily incorporate into your teaching.





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Date: 19.12.2018, 04:59 / Views: 81331