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					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.

				
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