English is a notoriously hard language. The spelling is completely crazy and unpredictable. But wait, English is such an easy language. You barely conjugate verbs and you dont have to decline anything. What!? So is it hard? Is it easy? By and large English is a relatively easy language to pick up quickly and use for basic communication. But, and thats a big but, if you want to be proficient and really speak fluently, it catches up to the rest of the worlds languages in terms of difficulty pretty quickly. How? Well, English relies on shades of meaning, phrasal verbs, and idioms quite heavily. Furthermore, it is a very widely accented language with everything from Hinglish (Indian English) to Scottish and dozens of dialects in between. In fact, spelling is a challenge for even the most proficient of English speakers. And lets not even get started on punctuation, using commas, or structuring sentences. It quickly turns into an art form more than anything. Oxford comma or no Oxford comma, what is your preference? And that is why today we are going to be diving right into the depths of this phenomenon. These are 25 words that English speakers often confuse.
Fewer is used when talking about things that can be counted. For example, Mike has fewer water bottles than Rob (not less because you can count water bottles). Less is for things that cant be counted. Mike has less water than Rob (not fewer because you cant count waters). capitol vs capital Capital refers to the city while capitol refers to the building. To remember, just try to imagine the o as being the dome on top of the building.
Disinterested is an adjective that means unbiased while uninterested refers to someone who is not interested.<\p>
Its is the contraction of it is while its indicates possession. People often confuse these because typically an apostrophe indicates possession after a noun.<\p> etc. vs i.e. The letters etc. are a latin abbreviation meaning etcetera while i.e., is a latin abbreviation meaning that is. If you are giving examples or listing options use etc. (Mark hates fruits like bananas, oranges, berries, etc.). If you are clarifying something use i.e. (Mark missed school, i.e., he was sick).
You borrow money from people, you dont borrow money to people. You lend money to people.
Criterion is singular while criteria is plural.
Among is used for three or more while between is used for two.<\p>
Aid is help given to people while an aide is a person who helps.
A desert is a barren wasteland with little or no precipitation. A dessert is sweet foodeaten after a main meal.<\p>
A principal is the head of a school while a principle is a belief.<\p>
May be as two words means might be. Maybe as one word means perhaps. If you have any questions about their meaning just substitute their synonymous meanings in. For example, the shirt may be (might be) on the couch vs maybe (perhaps) the shirt is on the couch.<\p>
Breath is the noun. Breathe is the verb.<\p>
Stationary means still. Stationery is writing materials such as paper.<\p>
Lay is a transitive verb. This means it needs an object. For example, Mike (the subject) can lay a book (the object) down. The verb makes no sense without an object though. To say Mike lays down is incomplete. Mike lays what down? For this scenario, the word you are looking for is the intransitive verb lie. Mike (the subject) lies down. No object is required.<\p>
Farther is used with distance, as in how much farther? Further means additional as in can you give me further directions?<\p>
Hanged is the past tense of hang if you are talking about hanging somebody, as in an execution. Therefore, outlaws were hanged in the wild west. Hung, on the other hand, refers to things, not people.<\p>
Although they mean similar things, a while is a noun phrase that typically follows a preposition (He said that he would be home for a while). Awhile is an adverb that basically captures the preposition in its meaning. For example, you could restate the above sentence as such: He said that he would be home awhile.<\p>
Each other refers to two objects. One another should be used if there are more than two.which one you should use just substitute who is into the sentence and see if it makes sense.<\p>
Divers is an archaic adjective meaning many or several. Diverse means varied.<\p>
These prefixes are hard to use. Semi always means half. Bi, however, can mean every two or twice. So the prefix bi is ambiguous. Biweekly could mean twice a week or every two weeks. If you mean the former, then you can use semi in order to avoid the ambiguity. With years, however, the rules change. Biannual always means twice a year. If you want to say that something happens every two years then you need to use the special word biennial.
Sometime refers to an indeterminate time in the future (e.g., He will go to school sometime next year). Sometimes is an adverb meaning occasionally, as in He goes to school sometimes. Some time is a phrase that refers to a period of time. For example, He has already spent quite some time in school.<\p>
For most cases wont is the correct choice. It is a contraction of will not. Wont, however, is actually a word as well. It means to be used to. For example, Ryan was wont to doing his homework right after school. This word is not as common though.<\p>
Whos is the contraction of who is. Whose is the possessive form of who. To tell which one you should use just substitute who is into the sentence and see if it makes sense. <\p>
A lot is a phrase that means much. Allot is actually a verb that means to give or apportion something to someone.<\p>
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