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Common Usage Mistakes

Common Usage Mistakes. Laci Kettavong Victoria Sanchez Collin Thompson Sharon Williamson. Today’s Itinerary. Go over sets of commonly confused words Define the words Read examples of proper usage Learn rules (and sometimes tricks) for proper usage Practice with an activity

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Common Usage Mistakes

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  1. CommonUsageMistakes Laci Kettavong Victoria Sanchez Collin Thompson Sharon Williamson

  2. Today’s Itinerary • Go over sets of commonly confused words • Define the words • Read examples of proper usage • Learn rules (and sometimes tricks) for proper usage • Practice with an activity • Discuss resources you can use in the future

  3. Accept Except Definition Leave out, or exclude Example I have been to every state, except Hawaii and California. Definition Receive, admit or approve Example The small bookstore only accepts cash payments.

  4. ! ! Proceed with Caution Accept means to admit or approve Except means to exclude or exempt

  5. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: I like most vegetables, ______ carrots. Sentence 2: Julia didn’t know if Harvard would ______ her, so she also applied to Yale and Princeton. except accept

  6. Affect Effect Definition A result Example The side effects of the new medicine greatly outweighed the benefits. Definition To influence Example The flooding in the Midwest has affected the cost of produce around the nation.

  7. ! ! Proceed with Caution Affect is most commonly used as a verb, whereas effect is most commonly used as a noun. Switch out affect with another verb or effect with another noun, and see if the sentence is still grammatically correct.

  8. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: Music can ______ the mood of its listeners. Sentence 2: The ______ of time on the crumbling house was apparent. affect effect

  9. Who Which That Definition What or which person or people Example Alfred, who is from Alaska, is not used to Florida’s heat and humidity. Definition Refers to things or groups; used to introduce a nonrestrictive clause Example Alaska, which is the northernmost state, is considerably colder than Florida. Definition Refers to things or groups; used to introduce a restrictive clause Example Alfred says mosquitoes that live in Alaska are scarier than mosquitoes in Florida.

  10. ! ! Proceed with Caution Use who to refer to a person. Use that and which to refer to groups or things. Use that to introduce clauses that cannot be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning. Use which to introduce clauses that can be removed from sentences without changing the meaning.

  11. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: Jeremy is the one ____ can reach the dishes on the top shelf. Sentence 2: Carol scored the goal ____ won the game. Sentence 2: Soda, _____ contains high fructose corn syrup, is very bad for your teeth. who Complement Complement that which

  12. Cite Site Definition Location Example Hard hats are necessary on any construction site. Definition To quote, or refer to Example When writing a research paper, you must cite your sources.

  13. ! ! Proceed with Caution Remember that you • cite to give credit • surf websites

  14. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: Dad lost our tents on the way to the camp___. Sentence 2: The opinions of several prominent scientists are ___d in the paper. site cite

  15. Complement Compliment Definition Something that completes or improves something else Example The course consists of a lecture complemented by a lab. Definition A positive remark or action that shows approval Example The pleased customers complimented the chef.

  16. ! ! Proceed with Caution Remember that complements complete.

  17. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: The sprinter received many __________s after winning the race. Sentence 2: The restaurant’s wine selection nicely ___________s the main courses. compliment complement

  18. Conscience Conscious Definition The sense of right and wrong Example Mary’s conscience lost all sensitivity after years of lying to everybody. Definition Awareness of one’s existence, sensations, thoughts and actions Example After being splashed with water, the man regained consciousness.

  19. ! ! Proceed with Caution Your conscience refers to your inner thoughts.

  20. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: Ursula needed to clear her _________, so she wrote confessions on an anonymous blog. Sentence 2: Jack lost _________ness when he hit his head. conscience conscious

  21. Continual Continuous Definition Implies prolonged succession or recurrence Example You can expect continual rain showers throughout the weekend. Definition Implies an uninterrupted flow of events Example The continuous barrage of waves on the cliff created several caves.

  22. ! ! Proceed with Caution Continual implies intervals Continuous events are contiguous: they touch

  23. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: On a clear day, the __________ shining of the sun can cause severe burns. Sentence 2: ________ fires keep the underbrush of the forest clear. continuous Continual

  24. Disinterested Uninterested Definition Not influenced by considerations of personal advantage; not interested Example The debate required a disinterested third party for a moderator. Definition Not interested Example Jerry was uninterested in watching the documentary on wind chimes.

  25. ! ! Proceed with Caution The line between disinterested and uninterested is starting to blur in the active English language. Uninterested is uninvolved. Disinterested is involved, but not being divisive.

  26. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: When his friends broke up, Cameron remained ____________. Sentence 2: The man handed out flyers to the ___________ passersby. disinterested uninterested

  27. Ensure Insure Definition To make sure Example Hemingway ensured his place in literary history with A Farewell to Arms. Definition To provide or obtain insurance on or for something Example Tina insured her beach house for storm and flood damage.

  28. ! ! Proceed with Caution The rule “use ensure unless you are talking about insurance” generally works. Ensure is to guarantee. Insure involves income.

  29. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: State law dictates that you ______ your car. Sentence 2: Chester used extra bungie cords to ______ his furniture wouldn’t fall off the trailer. insure ensure

  30. Farther Further Definition To a more distant place, or a more advanced point (spatially) Example His lies couldn’t be farther from the truth. Definition To or at a more distant place or time; a greater degree; in addition to what has been said Example I was annoyed further when the second telemarketer interrupted dinner.

  31. ! ! Proceed with Caution Both farther and further can be used to describe distance, but only further is used when there isn’t a mention of distance, either physical or figurative.

  32. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: There will be no ______ discussion on the issue. Sentence 2: Molly watched, disappointed, as her golf ball flew _______than she wanted. further farther

  33. Fewer Less Definition A smaller number Example It really should be called the “10 items or fewer” checkout. Definition A smaller amount Example There was less water in the lake because of the recent drought.

  34. ! ! Proceed with Caution Fewer is used with count nouns, which are numbered. Less is used with mass nouns, which are not numbered, but there are exceptions: • Money • Time • Distance

  35. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: There are _____ people in Denton during the summer and winter breaks. Sentence 2: The higher the mountain climbers go, the ___ oxygen there is in the air. fewer less

  36. Lay Lie Definition To set down Example Lay your cards on the table. Definition To stay at rest Example Mark needed to lie down after hurting his ankle.

  37. ! ! Proceed with Caution Lie is something you do to yourself. Lay is something you do to something else.

  38. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: The dogs were taught to ___ down on command. Sentence 2: Susan’s chickens ___ more eggs than she could ever use. lie lay

  39. Who Whom Definition Subject pronoun Example Who can hold their breath the longest? Definition Object pronoun Example Lilly will be giving a speech to whom?

  40. ! ! Proceed with Caution Who performs the action, whereas whom receives the action. Answer your own question to clarify which word to use: Who is the best? He is. She married whom? Him.

  41. Construct a Sentence Sentence 1: ____ ate all the cookies? Sentence 2: To _____ is the letter addressed? Who whom

  42. Information and Resources Look it up when in doubt: • Dictionaries • Merriam-Webster trumps all (for American English) • Writing references • Hodges-Harbrace Handbook • The Elements of Style • A Writer's Reference • Style Guides (APA, MLA, Chicago) • Online Resources • Be careful • Check Site Credibility • Cross reference between several sites

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