• tips 24.06.2009 1 Comment

    There are some words in English that sometimes make us confused because they have similarities in pronunciation and spelling. Mistakes in writing those words can be a serious problem in your grammar exam ;). I will try to list some of them along with the examples here.

    accept (v), except (prep.)
    Examples:
    They accepted my invitation.
    Everyone except me attended the party.

    affect (v), effect (n,v)
    The verb affect means to influence; the verb effect means to cause to happen, and the noun effect means the result.

    Pollution affects everyone.
    Arbitrators have effected a settlement of the dispute.
    The effect of the drug is well known.

    cloth (n), clothes (n), clothe (v)
    the noun cloth means artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers; the noun clothes means clothing in general, or apparel; the verb clothe means to provide with clothes, or to cover as if with clothing

    Woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC.
    The man was wearing old, dirty clothes.
    The mountain was clothed in tropical trees.

    compared to, compared with
    Compared to is used to point out similarities, compared with is used to indicate differences.

    He compared the crowd with the larger crowds of previous year.
    He compared the crowd to a swarm of angry bees.

    complement, compliment (n)
    A complement is something that completes something else; a compliment is a statement of an approval or congratulations.

    A subject complement follows the verb “to be”.
    She got many compliments on her new dress.

    costume, custom, customs (n)
    Costume refers to clothing; custom refers to a traditional practice or habit; customs means the agency for collecting duties imposed by a country on imports or exports.

    She wore a beautiful costume to the party.
    Customs differ from country to country.
    You must pass through customs when you enter a country.

    desert (n, v), dessert (n)
    The noun desert means arid land with little or no vegetation; the verb desert means to leave behind, to abandon; and the noun dessert refers to a dish served as the last course of a meal.

    It is very hot and dry in the desert.
    The camp was deserted.
    My favorite dessert is chocolate ice cream.

    its (adj.), it’s (pronoun + v)
    Don’t judge a book by its cover.
    It’s time to go home.

    maybe (adv.), may be (v)
    Maybe means possibly or perhaps; may be is a verb form indicating that a possibility exists.

    Maybe you will find the wallet you lost.
    She may be late.

    personal (adj.), personnel (n)
    Personal means private; personnel refers to the workers or staff of a business.

    It is difficult to discuss personal problems.
    All personnel must attend the meeting.

    quiet (adj.), quite (adv.)
    Quiet is the opposite of noisy; quite can mean completely or fairly.

    After the boys left, the house was quiet.
    She is quite beautiful.

    their (adj.), they’re (pronoun + v), there (adv.)
    Use there when referring to a place and their to indicate possession. Remember that they’re is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).

    They left their books at home.
    Please put your book over there.
    There are many documents that are used in investigations
    They’re studying for the exam.
    They’re talking about their plan there.

    Can you add some more? :D