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Common errors in English usage - misspelled words list - daily 10 words - Part 1

1. ACCEPT/EXCEPT

If you offer me Godiva chocolates I will gladly accept them--except for
the candied violet ones. Just remember that the "X" in "except" excludes
things--they tend to stand out, be different. In contrast, just look at
those two cozy "Cs" snuggling up together. Very accepting. And be
careful; when typing "except" it often comes out "expect."


2. BASICLY/BASICALLY

There are "-ly" words and "-ally" words, and you basically just have to
memorize which is which. But "basically" is very much overused and is
often better avoided in favor of such expressions as  "essentially,"
"fundamentally," or "at heart."

3. COMPLEMENTARY/COMPLIMENTARY

When paying someone a compliment like "I love what you've done with the
kitchen!" you're being complimentary. A free bonus item is also a
complimentary gift. But items or people that go well with each other are
complementary.

In geometry, complementary angles add up to 90 degrees, whereas
supplementary ones add up to 180 degrees.


4. ELICIT/ILLICIT

The lawyer tries to elicit a description of the attacker from the
witness. "Elicit" is always a verb. "Illicit," in contrast, is always an
adjective describing something illegal or naughty.

5. EMAIL/E-MAIL

Although the spelling "email" is extremely popular, some people prefer
"e-mail," which follows the same pattern as "e-commerce." The "E" stands
for "electronic."

6. EMBARESS/EMBARRASS

You can pronounce the last two syllables as two distinct words as a jog
to memory, except that then the word may be misspelled "embareass,"
which isn't right either. You also have to remember the double R:
"embarrass."

7. IN MASS/EN MASSE

We borrowed the phrase en masse from the French: "The mob marched en
masse to the Bastille." It does indeed mean "in a mass," and you can use
that English expression if you prefer, but "in mass" is an error.

8. OFTEN

People striving for sophistication often pronounce the "T" in this word,
but true sophisticates know that the masses are correct in saying
"offen."

9. OK/OKAY

This may be the most universal word in existence; it seems to have
spread to most of the world's languages. Etymologists now generally
agree that it began as a humorous misspelling of "all correct": "oll
korrect." "OK" without periods is the most common form in written
American English now, though "okay" is not incorrect.

10. REALIZE/REALISE

"Realize" is the dominant spelling in the US, and "realise" in the UK.
Spelling checkers often try to enforce these patterns by labeling the
other spelling as an error, but it is good to know that most
dictionaries list these as acceptable spelling variants.


Common errors in English usage - misspelled words list - daily 10 words - Part 1 Reviewed by Nancy Tamil on 5:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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