Monday, September 15, 2008

10 Common Mistakes in Word Usage

Mistakes are often made with word usage, “Which one do I chose?” Unfortunately, it’s not something that can be remedied with spell checker.

Here is a list of ten common word usage mistakes with explanations and examples of proper use:

(1) There vs. Their vs. They’re

* There is an indication of location.
Example: I want to see that book over there.

* Their is a possessive version of they.
Example: They took their dog to the groomer.

* They’re is a contraction, short for they are.
Example: They’re going to the theatre tonight.

(2) A lot vs. Allot vs. Alot

* A lot is an indication of amount.
Example: I have a lot of laundry to do.

* Allot means to distribute.
Example: I will allot you two cookies.

* Alot is not a word.

(3) I.e. vs. E.g.

* I.e. means "in other words."
Example: Writing more articles increases your
website traffic. I.e., it will bring you more

* E.g. means "for example."
Example: I have a lot of chores to do. E.g.,
laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc.

(4) To vs. Too vs. Two

* To is a function word to indicate relative position.
Example: We took the dog to the vet.

* Too can indicate excessiveness or in addition to.
Example: The chili was too spicy.
Example: I would like to go too.

* Two is the number 2.
Example: I want two cookies.

(5) Its vs. It’s

* Its is the possessive version of it.
Example: Its door came off the hinges.

* It’s is a contraction, short for "it is."
Example: It’s a beautiful day.

(6) You’re vs. Your

* You’re is a contraction, short for "you are."
Example: You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met.

* Your describes the possessor as someone else.
Example: Your shirt is very wrinkled.

(7) Loose vs. Lose

* Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.
Example: I have loose change in my pocket.

* Lose is a verb that means "to suffer the loss of."
Example: I hope I don’t lose my car keys.

(8) Choose vs. Chose

* Choose is a present tense verb meaning "to select."
Example: I choose to eat healthy foods.

* Chose is a past tense verb meaning "to select."
Example: I chose to eat healthy foods.

(9) Effect vs. Affect

* Effect is usually a noun meaning "result."
Example: The effect of increased traffic to your
website is directly related to the number of
articles you produce for syndication.

* Affect is usually a verb meaning "to influence."
Example: I hope this training series will affect
you in a positive way.

(10) Know vs. No vs. Now

* Know is usually a verb meaning "to understand."
Example: I know you are not coming to the movie.

* No is a negative reply, refusal or disagreement.
Example: There is no problem with the car.

* Now is usually an adverb meaning "at the present time or moment."
Example: Now I can easily write and market

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