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11. Being redundant
For example, ATM stands for automated teller machine so you would not say, “I am going to get some money from the ATM machine” and PIN stands for personal identification number so you would not say, “I forgot my PIN number.” These are just two of the hundreds of examples that illustrate this point.
12. Mixing up the words “accept/except”
You accept an apology and a gift, etc. The word except means other than as in “Everyone feels well except for Mr. Jones”. In this sentence, Mr. Jones is not feeling well.
13. When to use “ad/add”
You read an ad in the newspaper which is short for advertisement. You add numbers or other items to make a larger group. This is easy to remember because the word add is in the longer word addition, so you can be reminded that add means addition.
14. The distinction between “adapt/adopt”
These two words are often interchanged, but they have different meanings. You can adapt to change and you can adapt to the weather. But you adopt a child or you adopt a new way to exercise. The word “adapt” means to change something and the word “adopt” means to take on or assume.
15. Listen carefully to the ending of “advise/advice”
The word “advise” is a verb and means to offer suggestions and to give council, while “advice” is a noun and means the knowledge, recommendations and guidance that is given. For example, “The professor will offer advice to the graduate students by advising them on what courses to take to complete a degree.”
16. Using “affect/effect”
The pronunciation is different and the meanings are different, as well. Many people use these words interchangeably. “Affect” is pronounced with a short “a” and means to have an effect upon or to produce an influence. The sentence, “My father affected my strong character because he taught me the importance of being honest and humble” shows the correct use of “affect”. In the sentence, “The effect of the wildfire was devastating”, the word “effect” is pronounced with a short “e” at the beginning of the word and means an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause.
17. The words “aid/aide”
These words are both pronounced the same, but they have different meanings. “Aid” is a noun to mean the act of helping or it can be a verb to mean to help or assist. However, “aide” is always a noun that means the person who is the assistant. So you have, “The aide gave first aid to the patients in the hospital.”
18. Both “aloud/allowed” sound the same
Aloud means to be clearly heard as in “The manager of the store read the announcement aloud to the customers.” And allowed is the past tense verb for allow which means permitted as in the sentence “The student was allowed to take the English exam on-line.”
19. Confusion with “all ready/already”
Both words sound similar, but if you listen carefully you will notice that “all ready” has a slight pause between two single words. This is a signal to you in how the words are used. For example, “The teacher was all ready for class.” This means prepared. Whereas, “already” is an adverb that means before a certain time or by the time. An example sentence is “Bob was already finished with his task.”
20. Confusion with “altogether/all together”
These words sound similar, too, but there is a slight pause in all together used correctly in the sentence, “We sang the chorus all together.” This means everyone sang as one unit. They were all in a group and all with each other. However, the word “altogether” is an adverb that means completely and fully. The sentence, “It’s best to avoid the situation altogether” means to avoid the situation completely.
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