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  Weekly Feature (November 25, 2007)
 


 
Commonly Confused Words
by Pat

 

These are some of the words are often used incorrectly by many people. First, study the definitions and then read the sentences that show how to use each word.

 

(1) Accept/Except

Accept is a verb and means to take or agree to something.

Except is usually used as a preposition and means the opposite of including.

She has decided to accept the job offer.

In her new job, she will have to work every day of the week except Sunday.

 

(2) Advice/Advise

Advice is a noun and means information or opinion given to help.

Advise is a verb means to give advice.

The teacher gave Mary some good advice.

He advised Mary to rewrite her paragraph and correct the errors.

 

(3) Affect/Effect

Affect is a verb and means to influence.

Effect is a noun and means a result.

The weather can affect my mood.

In November, a sunny day in Vancouver has a positive effect on most people.

 

(4) Fewer/Less

Fewer is an adjective and means smaller in number; it can be counted.

Less is also an adjective and means a smaller amount; it is non countable.

North Vancouver has fewer people than Burnaby.

There is less rain in White Rock than in Vancouver.

 

(5) Lose/ Loose

Lose is a verb and means unable to find or mislay.

Loose is an adjective and means not confined or the opposite of tight.

Ken was afraid he would lose his way when hiking on Grouse Mountain.

His hiking boots were too loose, so he kept falling.

 

(6) Then/Than

Then is an adverb and means at that time or next.

Than is a conjunction and is used to compare.

Bob graduated from the Pearson Adult Learning Centre, and then he went to BCIT.

This school is closer to Bobís home than BCIT.

 

More Troublesome Words

This website includes a variety of challenging words. After you can click on the words you want to learn, you can try a quiz.

 

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