If you have blogged for a while, you know the frustration of trying to find out if the word you’re about to write is correct or not. If it’s correct–great. If not–your credibility will slowly flow to the bottom of the drain.
Online spellers are of great help, as well as dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesaurus. But it always helps to turn to your old textbooks or Web sites online to refresh your English rules. This year I promised myself to focus on the English language like a hound dog.
Some words are so close to others in spelling or meaning that they create confusion. For this reason, it’s a good idea to study the most common word mix-up’s, to avoid problems that confuse writers everywhere. If you can conquer these common problems, your blog will shine like a ripe Washington apple.
Here are some frequent offender words.
1. Affect and Effect:
To affect is to produce an effect. Still confused? Affect is usually a verb meaning “to impact or influence.” It might help to remember that “a” is for action and “e” is for result.
Affect: Will the new tax laws affect my company?
Effect: Many believe the effect of overplaying violent computer games is negative on your young children.
2. Accept and Except:
Accept is a verb, meaning to take willingly. Except is a preposition, meaning “other than.” Remember the phrase “I will accept any food except spinach.” The words “accept” and “except” are in alphabetical order in that sentence.
Accept: President Barack Obama will accept the Nobel Peace Price early this year.
Except: I will eat any vegetable except spinach, they’re too bitter.
3. Conscience and Conscious:
Many well-educated people stumble over this one. Conscience is a noun, meaning a feeling of shame when you do something immoral. It’s your sense of right and wrong. Conscious is an adjective, meaning knowing and perceiving; having awareness of surroundings and sensations and thoughts.
Conscience: The Welsh pirate had no conscience about his extreme cruelty.
Conscious: The small girl remained conscious during the whole operation.
4. It’s and Its:
The apostrophe in “it’s” poses a real problem for some people. Many people think of possession when they see it. But it’s is a contraction, meaning “it is” or “it has.” It might be helpful to think of the possessive pronoun its in a group with “hers” or “his.” No apostrophe.
It’s: It’s important to make that deposit today, before the check gets to the bank or it will bounce.
Its: By an impulse of instinct every mother will protect its young ones.
5. To and Too:
This is probably the most common problem pair, but once you get the difference, it seems so simple. To is a preposition that indicates location or direction, but it also can be used in front of a verb to make an infinitive, like “to work” or “to study.” On the other hand, Too is an adverb meaning “excessively” or “additionally.” This word indicates “an additional amount.”
To: Tonight I’m going to study for the final exam.
Too: I told my mother it would be too difficult to swim the 100 yards of the pool.
If you wish to be more proficient in the usage of the English language, kindly click the link at the end of this post for more information. Good Day.