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Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Accept means to receive graciously Except means to exclude. I accept your apology. Bill accepted the award in front of the entire school. Juanita accepted the invitation to represent the school at districts. Everyone went to the movies except Tommy. Except for spinach, I like all vegetables. All the actors arrived on time except Jim.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Accidently doesn’t exist. The correct word is accidentally. My uncle accidentally rolled his car into a ditch. The glass accidentally fell onto the floor. Sometimes you accidentally say the wrong word.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Advice is a noun. Advise is a verb. Dad gave me some good advice yesterday. Could you advise me on which MP3 player to buy? I find most advice perfectly useless. I’d advise you to be careful when you do that!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. The weather can have a profound effect on mood. I wasn’t really affected by losing my license for a week. Computer glitches can really affect your productivity. What effect do you expect from that experiment?
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Agree to an idea or a proposal. Agree with a person. I agree to supply the refreshments for the next meeting. I agreed with my brother that we should throw a party for our mother. Don’t agree to anything until you read the fine print! It’s wise to agree with your boss when doing so won’t hurt anything.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! An allusion is a reference to another literary work or to an idea. An illusion is a false impression, sight or belief. My teacher often makes allusions to Shakespeare. Why did you allude to our first kiss? It was a disaster! Don’t have any illusions about winning the lottery! Dense fog can often lead to dangerous illusions when you’re driving for a long time.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! All ready means that all are ready. Already means previously or before now. The tests are all ready for y our class! I already made lunch. Why aren’t you coming? Tom already found his keys. You can stop looking now. The soldiers were all ready to deploy to Antarctica to stop the penguin rebellion.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! All together means all members of a group taken as one. Altogether means entirely or completely She scolded them all together. She was altogether angry with them. I graded the tests all together. It’s altogether unnecessary to use exclamation points so often.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Among is used to refer to three or more. Between refers to two. Between you and me, I think we’re going to win! The ball fell between Amanda and Cory. There was disagreement among the members of the team. The fly ball landed among a crowd of thirty fans.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Use amount to refer to uncountable quantities. Use number to refer to quantities that can be counted. I lost a number of hours of sleep last night. I spilled a huge amount of flour on the floor! I spilled a large number of nails on the floor! That’s a large amount of honey you have there!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Bad is an adjective. Badly is an adverb. He had a bad cold. He fell on the ice badly. He took a bad fall on the ice. He plays Guitar Hero very badly.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Cite means to quote or mention. Site is a place or location. She cited Abraham Lincoln. Please cite your sources when you write your paper. They chose the site for the new Sheetz. That web site is incredible!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! A complement is an addition. A compliment is an expression of praise. That restaurant will be a fine complement to our downtown area. Your suggestion will complement our plans nicely! It never hurts to compliment someone—if you really mean it. Your compliment made me feel really special.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! A council is an assembly. To counsel is to advise. I’m going to join the Student Council. We’ll need a council to decide what to do. Sarah counseled me to stay away from you! Would you counsel me on how to choose a good career?
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Something is credible if it’s believable. Something is creditable if it deserves praise. He made a creditable attempt to train to run a marathon. The lead singer made a creditable performance. His argument was credible, but I’m still not convinced. The evidence was so credible the suspect was immediately convicted.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Use fewer to refer to items that can be counted. Use less to items that cannot be counted. There were fewer people at the party this year than last year. We made fewer mistakes this time than last time. There is less noise now that we replaced the muffler. I have less congestion once I started using that nasal spray.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Use further to refer to ideas. Use farther to refer to geographical distance. Let’s discuss that plan further. He is further along on his graduation project than I thought. Harrisburg is farther away than I thought. Could you drive any farther tonight?
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! A speaker or writer implies ideas. The listener or audience infers ideas. Are you implying that I’m wrong? My father implied that he won’t let me use the car this weekend. I inferred from your tone that you’re unhappy with me. The crowd inferred that the politician wasn’t being honest.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! It’s = it is Its is the possessive form of it. The dog was chasing its tail for hours. The ship’s crew flew its flag proudly. It’s going to rain later today. I didn’t realize it’s so easy to learn to fly!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Last implies there will be no more. Latest refers to the most recent. That was the last brownie. I read Stephen King’s latest novel. I make a point of keeping up with the latest fashions. I hope that’s the last speech and we can finally go home.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Loose means not tight or not attached. Lose means unable to keep or find. The wheel was so loose it was about to fall off. Loose lips sink ships! Try not to lose your keys this time! Did she lose her diamond ring?
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! The reason is because and the reason why are redundant. The reason is that I’m tired! The reason he decided not to go with us is that he was too busy. His bad knee is the reason he no longer plays basketball.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Should of and would of are incorrect versions of should have and would have. We should have spent more time on that project. He would have won if he would have trained harder! The United States should have worked harder on energy conservation. He would have if he could have.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Try and is an incorrect version of try to. Try to get here on time! We’re going to try to sleep less and work more. Try to pay attention!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Unique means one of a kind. Something cannot be very unique. Unique does not mean rare or unusual. That is a unique painting! He has a unique sense of humor.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! To wait for means to expect or look forward to. To wait on means to serve. I’m going to wait for my brother. The server waited on over ten tables tonight.
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Your is possessive. You’re means you are. Is this your book? You’re looking a little tired today. Your dress is looking a little wrinkled. You’re not the first one to tell me I look like Brad Pitt!
Adventures in Diction and Usage!!! Our is a possessive pronoun. Are is a verb. This is our new car. Sometimes you are just going to have to wait. Our dream is to become millionaires before we’re thirty. Are you going to the play tonight?