Here are twenty pairs of words that are commonly interchanged by users of the English language. A close examination of their differences in meaning and/or usage can spell the difference between scholarly writing and a sloppy one.
Advise is a verb meaning to counsel.
You need to listen to his advice.
I advise you to go back to your wife.
2. Affect, Effect
Affect is a verb which means to influence
Effect is a noun meaning result
News like that does not in any way affect me anymore.
The effect of taking drugs cannot be discounted.
3. Appraise, Apprise
Appraise means to evaluate.
Apprise means to inform.
The lady at the pawnshop will appraise the gold bracelet I brought.
It is important to apprise the owner of the damage in his property.
4. All ready, Already
All ready is an expression functioning as an adjective and meaning “ready.”
Already is an adverb meaning “by or before this time.”
The children are all ready to listen to the story.
I already ate my lunch.
5. All together, altogother
All together means “all at once”
Altogether means “completely” or “all in all”
We will sing all together at the concert.
I was altogether mistaken about the news.
6. Amount, Number
Amount is an indefinite quantity that cannot be counted.
Number consists of people or things that can be counted.
The amount of news published each day is amazing.
The number of tourists who visit the country continues to rise.
7. Awhile, A while
Awhile is an adverb, which means, “for a while.”
A while is an article and a noun and is used after the preposition for.
Adverb: Rest awhile before you leave.
Noun: Stay for a while and keep your mother company.
Do not use because after the reason is. The correct phrase is “The reason is that…”
Incorrect: The reason we left is because we got tired.
Correct: The reason we left is that we got tired.
Continual means “occurring again and again in succession.”
Continuous means occurring without interruption.
His continual coffee breaks caused his relief from work.
His continuous absence caused his dismissal.
10. In behalf, On behalf
In behalf means for the benefit of
On behalf means in place of.
The fund-raising concert is in behalf of the orphans at Sulpicio de San Jose.
Speaking on behalf of his son, Mr. Cruz pleaded for mercy from the victim’s parents.
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