Saying what we mean is an important part of good writing.
Misusing common words detracts from meaning. While spell-checker
are important tools (ALWAYS SPELL CHECK YOUR WORK!), we are responsible
for our word choices. Here are some words that are frequently
- Accept (vb) to receive; to give approval; to take.
- Except (vb) to exclude.
- I think they will accept all my revisions except for the conclusion.
- Juliana works every day except Saturday and Sunday.
- Adolpho will attend the banquet to accept the award.
- We will accept your gifts except for the puppy.
- Adapt. (v) to adjust, make fit.
- Adept. (adj) expert, proficient.
- He is ready to adapt to the different expectations
- She is adept at expression complex ideas in writing.
- Joe had to adapt before he was adept at his new job.
- When changes threaten me, it is time to adapt.
- Advice (n) opinion; recommendation.
- Advise (vb) to give advice; to recommend.
- Since you sought my advice, I advise you to go to the new job.
- Ms. Chin will advise music students on Friday mornings.
- To keep all our options open was his advice to us.
- If you ask my advice, I would advise you to see Larry.
- Affect (vb) to influence.
- Effect (n) result; consequence (vb) to cause; to accomplish.
- The effect of the recent change will affect our annual profit.
- Will cutting the staff affect worker morale?
- What effect will new equipment have on productivity?
- The net effect will affect our decision.
- Complement (n) something that completes or makes up a whole.
- Compliment (n) an expression of praise or congratulation.
- Joe's compliment to Dan was that his tie complemented his suit.
- The laser printer is a complement to the system.
- Gloria accepted Kevin's compliment with a smile.
- The dessert will complement dinner.
- Confidant (n) one to whom secrets are kept.
- Confident (adj) having certainty or assurance.
- Larry is my confidant; I can tell him anything.
- I can be confident that Larry will keep it between
- I am not confident that Mary will be a good
- When we have troubles, it helps to have a confidant
that we are confident will keep our secrets to themselves.
- Everyday (adj) routine occasions, suitable
for ordinary day.
- Every Day (adj & n) each and all days, no
Examples: Everyday/Every Day
- Every day I have the blues; its an everyday occurrence.
- I start every day with a moment of thanks.
- Going to church is not an everyday thing for me.
- Going out for frozen custard is not an everyday occurrence,
but every day I try to reward myself for the positive things I do.
- Explicit (adj) expressed precisely; clearly
- Implicit (adj) Implied, not directly
- The rules are explicit on this matter; it is a
- While not actually part of the court's decision,
implicit in the judge's ruling is that the rights of the group are
greater than the rights of the individual.
- Young adults should not need to be explicitly told
what is acceptable at college.
- The academic code of conduct does not explicitly
state your action is wrong, but does implicitly tell us not to do
- Fair (adj) just, equitable, visually beautiful or admirable.
- Fare (n) a transportation charge.
- Mary knew that the taxi fare was not fair for such a short trip.
- With a shrug and sigh, Lucy said, "Life is not fair.
- The round-trip airline fare seemed fair to me.
- It did not seem fair, so we argued about the fare.
- For (prep/conj) used to indicate purpose; on behalf of;
because; because of.
- Four (n) the fourth in a set or series.
- For the lack of a comma, the sentence was
- Four-score and seven years ago, our founding fathers
brought forth a new nation.
- The hammer is for unexpected emergencies.
- Four screwdrivers are also included in our
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- Its (adj) of or relating to itself as the possessor.
- It's (contr) it is; it has.
- It's time for the dog to have its food.
- Before it's time to bid, check its number.
- If it's not yours, return it to its shelf.
- It's not time for the cat to have its dinner
- Now that it's Tuesday, the dog will have its day.
- Forward (adj) moving or tending.
- Foreword (n) preface or introductory statement in a book.
- The next right thing is to go forward with the plan.
- I skipped reading the foreword of the book.
- Perhaps it was a mistake to go forward without
reading the foreword.
- We will each have to decide for ourselves if the
foreword is important to read before going forward.
- Personal (adj) private; individual.
- Personnel (n) employees
- The personnel committee took a personal interest in all workers.
- Max thought the case too personal to discuss openly.
- The personnel manager will mediate the dispute.
- He sent Mark to see the personnel director to talk
about the personal problems that were affecting him at work.
- Principal (n/adj) a person in authority; a capital sum; main, primary.
- Principle (n) a rule.
- The new principal is guided by the principle of fairness.
- The principal reason I'm here is to record his talk.
- What principle of law was applied in that case?
- The principal of the loan was paid off in ten years.
- Than (conj/prep) used in comparisons to show difference between items.
- Then (n/adv) that time; at that time.
- If she is older than you, then I am older than you.
- We then decided that two hours were more than enough.
- Fewer than half the workers were then put on overtime.
- If my account has more than your account, then use mine.
- John then went outside rather than go to the basement.
- Their (pron) belonging to them.
- There (adv/pron) in or at that place; word used to introduce a sentence or clause.
- They're (contr) they are.
- They're to be there to present their plans for the new building.
- Were you there for the large fireworks display?
- Do you believe they're going to elect her as mayor?
- In their opinion, the decision was quite unfair.
- The team won their game by two points.
- We had a great deal of fun there.
- Overall, they're the best team we have had in years.
- To (prep/adj) used to indicate action, relation, distance, direction.
- Too (adv) besides; also; to excessive degree.
- Two (pron/adj) one plus one in number
- Is it too late for us to go to the two o'clock movie today?
- I am to give everyone two bowls of beef soup.
- We are going to the opera; Stan is going too.
- She thought that two workers were too many.
- John went to town to get two new tires.
- It is just too far for us to go back to town.
- You have to leave the waitress a tip too.
- Your (adj) of or relating to you or yourself as possessor.
- You're (contr) you are.
- When you receive your blue book, you're to write your name on it.
- You're to write the letter using your best English.
- When your computer is warmed up you're to begin work.
- If you're not sure what to do, ask your instructor.
- You're in charge when you're the boss.
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