English is an extremely fun language, especially if you compare how we speak to how we write. Obviously, I don’t want to give you an English grammar class here. It’s enough to know that written English is more formal than the spoken version of it and, on top of that…
It’s a Bit
More Complicated !
That’s why, it’s not enough to speak it to be able to write well. You also have to have some understanding about the grammar. The one thing I’d like to focus on today is what’s called…
Now, in case you don’t know, homonyms are words that sound exactly the same (or very similar), although they’re spelled differently and often mean completely different things. Now, as you probably already realize, using homonyms are where a whole lot of people, even professional writers and bloggers fall short. That’s why I decided to give you a short, useful list words and phrases that are often…
1. Your vs You’re
A whole lot of people get this one wrong, especially if they’re just writing quickly. It doesn’t even matter where they’re from. Obviously, “your” means belonging to you and “you’re” means you are. For example, you could say this is your car, while this is you’re car…
Any Sense !
Both of those phrases sound exactly the same, so there isn’t a problem when you’re just talking to someone, but if you’re writing a post…
You Must Distinguish
Between Them !
2. Climatic vs Climactic
This is a tricky one. Those two words don’t sound exactly the same, but they are very similar and get mixed up a lot. “Climatic” is derived from the word climate, and “climactic,” as you can probably guess, comes from the word climax (meaning, the point of greatest intensity.) So, you could say, for example, that Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader, right after he found out they were related, was the Climactic event of that part of Star Wars. Using the word climactic in that sentence…
Any Sense At All !
3. There vs Their vs They’re
Another very common slip-up. The word “there” indicates location, “their” is a possessive pronoun and “they’re,” obviously, means they are. Every single one of these phrases means something completely different and they really shouldn’t get mixed up (although they do quite a bit.) Let me give you some example of how you’d use each one of them in real life.
- There you’ll find a bucket of water (tells you where the bucket is)
- This is their book (indicates who the book belongs to)
- They’re going to school on Monday (talks about two or more people)
As you see it’s not too hard to distinguish between these three. You just have to pay attention to them…
When You’re Writing
Each of the Words !
4. Who vs Which vs That
These are not homonyms, but I decided to throw them in to the mix as they do cause a lot of people trouble. Again, it’s not very hard to use them correctly, especially if you pay close attention to what you’re doing during the writing and…
Your Content !
When you talk about people, you’re not going to use “which.” The word “which” mostly refers to things and animals. That, on the other hand can be used for groups of people and things. So, for example, you could say John, who was singing the song, did an awesome job. You would not ever say John, which was singing the song, did an awesome job, though, as you’re talking about John, and…
He’s a Person !
You could use which, however, if you shifted the focus from John, to the song itself. For example, that song, which was sung by John, sounded very well.
isn’t it ?
5. Principle vs Principal
If you stop and think about it for a moment, you’re going to easily spot the difference between these two. Both of those words are nouns that sound exactly the same, but mean completely different things. The word “principle” means a truth or a rule. On the other hand, a “principal” is…
in Charge of a School !
I don’t think you need an example for this as it really is quite obvious, but if you do, go ahead and drop me a line…
Comments Section !
6. Accept vs Except
This is another common error that’s relatively easy to spot and fix. “Accept” means to receive. For example, I accepted the gift from my children. “Except,” as you already realize, is normally a preposition that means excluding. For example: I don’t normally go out to eat, except when I am on holiday. If you’re having a hard time remembering the difference between those words, think about the word…
An “exception” is a person or a thing generally excluded from a statement or one that doesn’t follow a rule. You wouldn’t say “acception” for that…
Would You ?
7. Emigrate vs Immigrate
“Emigrate” means to exit, or to leave the country. On the other hand, “immigrate” means coming in to the country. There’s a very easy way mnemonic to remember the difference between these two. Just keep in mind that…
Emigrate Means Exit and
Immigrate Means In !
There you have it. The 7 silly misuse words that will make you look dumb if you aren’t careful. They might be a bit overwhelming, especially at first, but there’s a little trick that I’ve been using for years that helped me avoid these mistakes. Writing and editing are two separate processes. It is literally impossible for an average person to catch spelling, grammar or syntax errors in the text they just wrote. That’s why, when you’re done writing your post, you can either have someone else edit it for you, or…
Take a Day of Break
from it !
If you wrote something today, save it and forget about it until tomorrow. Then, when tomorrow comes, sit down and go through your text carefully. You’ll see that most of the errors will be easy to spot and fix and you’ll be able to take care of them…
In No Time !
The Bad Blogger
Also Known As “The Bad (or Beg) Blogger —> Well… obviously I don’t “Beg”