Words

Confusing words exercise

April 10, 2012

Complete the following sentences. 1. Although they were an ……………………………. couple, they didn’t have an ………………………….. divorce. a) amiable; amicable       b) amicable; amiable 2. The …………………………. of money you earn in a month depends on the …………………………. of products you sell. a) amount; number        b) number; amount 3. I am worried that his illness seems […]

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Words ending in -man

April 6, 2012

Some words ending in –man do not have a common feminine equivalent. Examples are: chairman and fireman. But because most women object to being called ‘chairman’ or ‘spokesman’, these expressions are now being avoided in general references to people of either sex. In some cases, the word person is now used instead of man. And […]

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Words confused

March 30, 2012

Recent and modern Recent is used to talk about things which happened a short while ago. Modern means ‘of the present or recent times’. Modern writers prefer prose to poetry. It was the worst cyclone in recent times. Recollect and remember To recollect is to call something to mind with some effort. To remember is […]

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The least and the fewest

March 29, 2012

The least is used before uncountable nouns. It is the superlative of little. He does the least work in this office. The least can be used without a noun if the meaning is clear from the context. Jane does the most work in this office. Jack does the least. The expression ‘least of’ can be […]

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Special uses of some adverbs

October 25, 2011

Short and shortly Short is used as an adverb in expressions like stop short (= stop suddenly) and cut short (= interrupt) Shortly means ‘soon’. You will hear from us shortly. Slow and slowly Slow is an adjective; slowly is an adverb. However, slow can be used as an adverb after verbs like go and […]

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Using next and nearest

October 6, 2011

Nearest is used for place. It is used to refer to people or things which are most near in space. Excuse me. Where is the nearest hospital? (NOT Where is the next hospital?) The nearest railway station is two kilometers away. Next is used to talk about time or position in a series. It means […]

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Using afraid

September 2, 2011

Afraid and fear Be afraid is the normal expression for talking about fear. He is afraid of the dark. Don’t be afraid. (NOT Don’t fear.) (NOT Don’t afraid.) Are you afraid of spiders? There is nothing to be afraid of. She is afraid that you might get angry. Difference between afraid of and afraid to […]

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Soon, Early and Quickly

July 19, 2011

Soon means ‘a short time after now’. Get well soon. (NOT Get well early.) We will launch a new edition of this book sometime soon. Soon can also mean ‘a short time after then’. It was difficult in the beginning, but I soon got used to it. (NOT It was difficult in the beginning, but […]

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Come and Go

July 14, 2011

We use come to talk about movements to the place where the speaker or the listener is. ‘John, will you come here.’ ‘I’m coming.’ (NOT I am going.) (Here we are talking about movement to the place where the speaker / listener is.) We came to live here in 1990. (NOT We went to live […]

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Until and Till

July 2, 2011

These two words mean exactly the same. They can be used both as prepositions and conjunctions. Till is more common in an informal style. Note that in American English, the preferred informal spelling of till is ’til. I waited until 6 o’clock and then I went home. OR I waited till 6 o’clock and then […]

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