Similar Everyday Words That Are Often Interchangeably Used Wrongly
1. INQUIRE/ENQUIRE: Inquire (inquiry) is a formal inquest ie, by legal, formal institutions and boards and are often documented, while enquire (enquiry) is an informal act of questioning.
2. I'M/ AM: I'm is simply a contraction of "I am" ie, it means I am. Example: I'm washing the dishes.
On the other hand, "am" is on its own a first person present form of "be". Example: I really am sorry for your loss.
3. COMPLEMENT/ COMPLIMENT: Complement means "to complete". Example: He complemented the sweet taste with some added salt and spice.
Compliment means a remark, salutation and (but not limited to) flattery. Example: He complimented her beauty all night.
4. KNOW/ NO: Know means to have knowledge of; whilst "no" is simply the opposite of yes. Example: No, I don't know how to dance.
5. SOURCE/ SAUCE: Source is the origin of a thing, trend, phenomenon, etc. Sauce is often an added flavour to a dish/food.
Example: The source of modernity is Africa.
Example: He uses tomato sauce to consume bread.
6. CEASE/ SEIZE: To cease simply is to stop, while to seize is to confiscate, arrest or withhold.
Example: Pray without ceasing.
Example: Their results were seized by the examination body
NB: Seize should as well not be mistaken for "size"
7. INVISIBLE/ INVINCIBLE: Invisible means "not seen" (it has to do with vision), while invincible means powerful and/or untouchable.
Example: He wore an invisible cloak. It made him invincible against enemy attack.
8. REIGN/ RAIN: Reign means a period of domination, while rain refers to waterfall in drops from the sky (or a large quantity of something)
Example: During his reign, rain ceased to fall. Hence, drought and famine.
9. I (capitalized)/ i: I (when capitalized) is simply the first person perspective, while "i" is just the ninth letter of the English alphabet.
Example: I'm running late.
10. WONDER/ WANDER: Wonder means to be amazed, to wish to know, etc. Wander implies movement, to (mentally, physically or emotionally) move about.
Example: He wondered why the dog kept wandering up and about in the house. It made his mind wander—searching for answers.
11. THERE/ THEIR: There simply is a (physical or mental) location (of something), whilst their is a second/third person pronoun.
Example: Their house is right there.
12. SURLY/ SURELY: Surly infers terrible, ugly, arrogant, etc while surely means definite, positive, truthful, etc.
Example: The surly waitress will surely get little or no customer appraisal.
13. IT'S/ ITS: It's is a contraction of "it is", while its is a pronoun that expresses "belonging to".
Example: Its main property is that it's very coerce and tough, slow but stable.
NB: when in doubt of which to use, substitute with "it is" to see if it fits properly in such context. Same applies for "am" and "I'm".
14. YOUR/ YOU'RE: YOUR is a second person pronoun, while you're simply is "you are".
Example: Your dog chewed on the phone. You're therefore responsible for whatever replacement(s) must be made.
15. QUIET/QUITE: To be quiet is to be free of noise (or disturbance); quite means to a degree or extent of.
Example: The quiet reserved lad over there in suit is quite handsome as well.
Others include: LAUNCH/LUNCH, BREAK/ BRAKE
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