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Commonly Misused Words and Phrases

Commonly Misused Words and Phrases - Commonly Misused Words...

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Commonly Misused Words and Phrases * Why should you bother to read this handout? The transition from spoken to written language can often be a bumpy one because the way we talk tends to be a lot less formal than the way we write. When we try to translate spoken ideas into writing, it is often hard to remember correct grammar. Also, we hear incorrect grammar used so often that correct grammar might sound odd or even wrong to us. Homonyms can present an especially difficult problem because they sound alike, but the different spellings mean different things. Changing one letter in a word could alter the whole meaning of a sentence. Common phrases are also likely to be written incorrectly because in speech words are often shortened or slurred together so that not all of the letters are pronounced, making it easy to inadvertently leave these letters out when writing. Knowing which word to use or how to write a phrase correctly can make a big difference in your writing. It is easier for readers to take a piece of writing more seriously when the grammar is correct. This handout contains a list of commonly confused homonyms and problem phrases, as well as a few hints to help you remember the grammar rules. Words that sound alike (homonyms): We have selected the ones we see in the Writing Center most often. For a complete list of homonyms you may click here. Accept, Except: Accept is a verb meaning to receive. Except is usually a preposition meaning excluding. I will accept all the packages except that one. Except is also a verb meaning to exclude. Please except that item from the list. Affect, Effect: Affect is usually a verb meaning to influence. Effect is usually a noun meaning result. The drug did not affect the disease, and it had several adverse side effects .
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