Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Word Usage: 10 Common Mistakes

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 exposure.

    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 my articles.
Thanks to The EzineArticles Team
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