Commonly Confused Words English III Honors Dr. Meghen L. Sanders To/Too/Two To ◦ Preposition- Ex: I went to the store. ◦ Infinitive- (to + verb) Ex: He doesn’t like to work. Too ◦ Adverb- (intensifier) too much, too few, too many, too loud, too soft, etc. Ex:Too many students are in the hall. ◦ Adverb- (means “also” and must be separated by commas) Ex: I, too, want some cake for desert. He wants some, too. Two- 2 Their/There/They’re Their ◦ Possessive pronoun; noun must follow. ◦ Their house sits on a corner. There ◦ Demonstrative pronoun- The books are over there. ◦ Passive Voice sentence- (bad!) There are thirty five students in this room. They’re- THEY ARE Its/It’s,Your/You’re, Whose/Who’s Its- Possessive pronoun; noun must follow. The dog wagged its tail. It’s- IT IS Your- Possessive pronoun; noun must follow. Bring your books to class. You’re- YOU ARE Whose- Possessive pronoun; noun must follow. Whose bookbag is on the floor? Who’s- WHO IS Which/That/Who Which- ALWAYS needs commas, refers to things ◦ The plant, which sits on the window, is dying. That- NEVER needs commas, refers to things ◦ The plant that sits on the window is dying. Who- pronoun, acts like a subject and takes a verb ◦ Who is going on the field trip? ◦ The person taking the money is who? ◦ Who needs to practice using pronouns correctly? Accept/Except, Affect/Effect, Between/Among, Accept- verb, to take ◦ I will accept your apology. Except- preposition, “but” ◦ Everyone went on the field trip except him. Affect- verb, to alter/ to influence ◦ Sunlight affects the growth of plants. Effect- noun, generally preceded by the or an ◦ I hated the special effects in the movie. Between- preposition, refers to 2 things ◦ That secret was between you and me! Among- preposition, refers to 3 or more things ◦ Among the students in the class, three were working on other assignments. ◦ I could not decide among all of the items on the menu. Capitol/Capital, Principal/Principle, Stationary/Stationery Capitol- noun, a building in a state or national capital city ◦ The state departments’ offices are located inside the capitol. Capital- noun, money or major city in a state ◦ I don’t have enough capital to buy a plane ticket to visit the capital of The United States, Washington D.C. Principal- adjective, main or primary ◦ My principal concern is that you learn the differences among words! Principle- noun, idea or concept ◦ Morals are principles by which you live your life. Stationary- adjective, unmovable or fixed ◦ The girl was stationary in the corner, unable to move from fear. Stationery- noun, nice paper and envelopes ◦ Hardly anyone uses stationery to write thank you notes; e-cards are easier and cheaper to send. Who/Whom, Allusion/Illusion, Complement/Compliment Who- subjective pronoun, replaces a noun ◦ Who is in charge of this play? Whom- objective pronoun, needs a preposition ◦ To whom should I give this present? Allusion- noun, reference to a literary work, historical event, speech, or other work ◦ “To be, or not to be” is an overused allusion to Hamlet. Illusion- noun, something not real ◦ The oasis in the desert was just an illusion. Complement- verb, to match or “go together” ◦ My earrings complemented my bracelet. Compliment- noun or verb, flattery or praise ◦ Her friends complimented her on her new hairstyle. ◦ I love compliments! Cite/Site/Sight, Counsel/Council Cite- verb, to give credit to a source ◦ When writing a research paper, you must cite your sources. Site- noun, a place ◦ Where is the construction site? Sight- noun, vision ◦ When I lost my sight, I had to rely on my other senses. Counsel- verb, to give advice or comfort ◦ Whenever I’m confused, my grandfather counsels me. Council- noun, a group of persons, who make decisions ◦ The town council decided to raise property taxes. Coarse/Course, Farther/Further, Lose/Loose Coarse- adjective, rough or grainy ◦ The cornmeal was really coarse. Course- noun, a path or a class ◦ The course for the half marathon went through the woods. Farther- adverb, CAN be measured ◦ He hit the ball farther than I. Further- adverb, CANNOT be measured ◦ Really, this argument cannot go any further. Lose- verb, to not win ◦ The Ohio State Buckeyes football team rarely loses. Loose- adjective, not tight or unrestrained ◦ Be careful! The ropes in that net are loose! ◦ Ah! The pitbull is loose! Fewer/Less, Advice/Advise, Precede/Proceed Fewer- can be counted ◦ Fewer students tried out for the talent show this year. Less- CANNOT be counted ◦ When we lost the game, he was less upset than she. Advice- noun, words of wisdom ◦ She hates when too many persons try to give her advice. Advise- verb, to give words of wisdom ◦ Your guidance counselors should advise you how to prepare for college. Precede- verb, to go BEFORE ◦ At graduation, the Director of Schools precedes the graduates at the beginning of the ceremony. Proceed- verb, to go AFTER or to continue ◦ The bride proceeds her bridesmaids during a wedding. ◦ Please proceed with your presentation. Adapt/Adopt, Eminent/Imminent, Assure/Ensure/Insure Adapt- verb, to change or modify ◦ At his new school, Billy was able to adapt to his surroundings and make friends. Adopt- verb, to choose or take as one’s own ◦ Unfortunately, Billy adopted the bad behaviors from his new friends and started skipping. Eminent- adjective, highly respected ◦ The eminent author spoke at our college graduation. Imminent- adverb, likely to happen ◦ If you do not study or pay attention in class, failure is imminent. Assure- verb, to make someone feel better or to guarantee ◦ The teacher assured the student that she would do well in the class if the student tried her best. Ensure- verb, to make sure that something happens or is safe ◦ Campus security ensures that every student is safe. Insure- verb, deals with insurance ◦ State Farm insures my car, house, and jewelry. Allude/Elude, Elicit, Illicit, Discreet/Discrete Allude- verb, to refer to something ◦ Most writers allude to other works in order to add meaning to their works. Elude- verb, unable to grasp or understand ◦ The fugitive eluded the authorities. ◦ The theories behind Calculus elude me. Elicit- verb, to draw out a response ◦ When she asked a questions, the teacher elicited a response from her students. Illicit- adjective, improper or illegal ◦ The school handbook prohibits illicit drugs, clothing, and music. Discreet- adjective, careful or tactful ◦ Romeo and Juliet tried to have a discreet marriage, but their plans were thwarted. Discrete- adjective, having individual or separate parts ◦ The parts of speech include eight discrete categories: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, verbs, and prepositions. Censor/Censure/Sensor, Conscience/Conscious Censor- noun, someone who examines things for immoral or inappropriate content ◦ The censor decided that Huckleberry Finn was too inappropriate for high school students to read. Censure- verb, to receive strong disapproval or a legal consequence ◦ Bill Clinton was censured by Congress during his impeachment. Sensor- noun, something that senses something ◦ ADT’s sensors detected that someone was breaking in my house. Conscience- noun, inner sense of right or wrong ◦ My conscience told me that I had not been very nice to my sister. Conscious- adjective, awake and functioning ◦ After he hit his head on the ground, Billy Bob remained conscious, so we knew he did not have a concussion.