Do you think your English is flawless? Check yourself: most likely, you also use these words incorrectly.
Jon Gingerich, editor of O'Dwyer's magazine in New York, as well as a host of workshops and copywriting and writing skills, brought together the most common mistakes in English that he regularly encounters not only in personal communication, but also in publications of newspapers, magazines and even in popular books, writes Life hacker.
If you want to speak and write competently, you should read this information. Regardless of how much time and money you spent on language courses.
1. Who and whom
Who (“who”) is a subject pronoun along with “he”, “she”, “it”, “we” and “they”. The word is used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a sentence. Whom (“whom”) refers to object pronouns along with “him”, “her”, “this”, “us” and “them” and is used in the designation of the object of the sentence. If in doubt, replace who with “he” or “she”, and whom - with “him” or “her.” For example, I consulted an attorney whom I met in New York - cf. I consulted him (“I consulted a lawyer whom I met in New York — that is, I consulted him”).
2. Which and that
This is one of the most common mistakes encountered. That is a restrictive pronoun. For example, I don't trust fruits. Here all inorganic fruits and vegetables are meant. In other words, I trust only organic fruits and vegetables. Which represents a relative sentence, that is, implies options that may be optional. For example, I would like you to eat in organic grocery stores. In this case, you do not need to go to a special organic store. Which determines, and that limits.
3. Lay and lie
This is the pearl of all grammatical errors. Lay is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects of speech to which its action will extend. Lay is the present tense of this verb (for example, I lay the pencil on the table), and the past is laid (for example, Yes). Lie is an intransitive verb. It does not require an object. The present time is lie (for example, The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina), the past is lay ( The most common mistake occurs when the author uses the past tense of the transitive verb lay (for example, I laid on the bed), when in fact the past tense of the intransitive verb lie (I lay on the bed) is meant.
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Contrary to popular belief, moot does not mean something extra / redundant / excessive. This word defines a controversial subject or subject open to discussion. For example, “The idea that commercial zoning should be resolved in a residential area was a controversial issue for the council”.
5. Continual and continuous
These words are similar, but there is also a difference between them. Continual means something that happens with interruptions in time. Continuous is about something that happens all the time without stopping or pausing. For example, “The constant music that was playing next door turned this night into the worst time to study”) or Her continuous talking prevented him from concentrating (“Her continuous conversation prevented him from concentrate ").
6. Envy and jealousy
The word envy (“envy”) implies the pursuit of someone else’s good fortune. Jealousy (“jealousy”) has a more negative meaning. This is the fear of rivalry that is often present in personal relationships. Envy is when you want to look as good as your friend, and jealousy is what happens to you when your partner admires another person.
Nor expresses a negative state. Literally, this means "and no." You should use nor if your offer is negative and followed by another negative condition. For example, Neither the men nor the women were drunk (“Neither men nor women were drunk”). Everyone knows the rule of using the tandems “neither - nor and either - or”, but here it is important to remember that nor should be used as the second negative condition only in the verb. If it is a noun, adjective or adverb, use or. For example, He won't eat broccoli or asparagus (“He does not want to eat broccoli or asparagus” - the first negative verb applies to the first and second noun.
8. May and might
May implies opportunity, and might - uncertainty. You can get drunk if you’re getting drunk if you drink two shots within 10 minutes. ”Means you can get drunk. You might get a ticket if you operate a tug boat while drunk (“You can get a penalty if you drive a drunk boat”) - implies the likelihood of what might happen in principle. Whoever says I may have more wine, means that he does not want more wine right now. And if he uses the word might, it will mean that he does not want wine at all. In this context might be more correct.
9. Whether and if
Many writers believe that these two words have the same meaning. But it is not. Whether expresses a state where there are two or more alternatives. If is used in a situation where there are no alternatives. For example, I get drunk tonight (I don't know if I'm drunk tonight) or I can get drunk tonight if I have money for booze (I’ll drink today if I have money").
10. Fewer and less
Less is used in hypothetical quantities. Few and fewer - for things that you can count. For example, The firm has fewer than ten employees (“The company has fewer employees than 10”) or The firm is less successful now that we have only ten employees (“Now the company is less successful when we have only 10 employees”).
11. Farther and further
The word farther means measured distance. Further is used to denote an abstract length that you cannot always measure. For example, I threw the ball ten feet farther than Bill (“I threw the ball 10 feet further than Bill”) or The financial crisis caused further implications (“The financial crisis caused further consequences”).
12. Since and because
Since refers to time, and because to causality. For example, Since I quit I have a wife and two children (I have a wife and two children since I quit drinking) or Because I quit drinking, I’ve no longer Since I quit drinking, I no longer quarrel over this with my wife ”).
13. Disinterested and uninterested
Contrary to common usage, these words are not synonymous. Disinterested person means "disinterested person" or "impartial person." For example, a hedge fund manager may be interested in promoting a stock despite the fact that he does not receive any financial benefit from this. In this case, it is disinterested. The same can apply to judges. If you mean a person who is not interested in anything (indifferent, indifferent), then the word uninterested should be used.
If you are not afraid for them, do not say that you are anxious to see your friends. In this case, you are most likely eager (aspire) or excited (excited). To be anxious means looming fear or anxiety, but not that you are looking forward to something.
15. Different than and different from
Another difficult point in grammar. The adjective different is used to indicate a difference. When this word is followed by a preposition, it must be from - a value close to separate from, distinct from or away from. For example, “My living conditions in New York are different from home conditions”). Different than is used very rarely - in cases where the excuse than connects concepts. For example, Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles (“Development in New York is different from development in Los Angeles”).
16. Bring and take
For the correct use of the words bring and take, the author must know whether the object is moving to or from the object. If aside, use bring, and if from - take. For example, a husband might say “Bring your clothes to the cleaners” (Bring your clothes to the dry cleaners).
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But such a word does not exist. The token impact can be used as a noun (The impact of the crash was severe - “The impact of the accident was severe”) or as a transitional verb (The crash impacted my ability to walk or work "). Impactful is a made-up fashionable word that simply does not need to be used.
18. Affect and effect
To cope with this dilemma, you can use a simple hint: affect almost always is a verb (for example, Facebook affects people's attention spans - “Facebook affects the coverage of people's attention”), and effect is almost always a noun (for example, Facebook’s effects can also be positive - “Facebook effects can also be positive”). Affect means "to influence" or "create an impression", that is, to cause an action / result (effect). However, there are some exceptions. Effect can be used as a transitional verb meaning “to do something” or “to occur”. For example, My new computer’s affected a lot-needed transition from magazines to Web porn (“My new computer makes a much-needed transition from magazines to web porn”). There are also rare instances of using the word affect as a noun: “It’s not the influence that made him seem like a shallow person”.
19. Irony and coincidence
Two more words that many use incorrectly. As in the Russian language, irony (irony) means a mismatch of the series of events between the expected and actual results. For example, “Barbara moved from California to New York to escape relations with Californians. as a result, fell in love with a man from California "). Coincidence ("coincidence") is a series of events that seem planned, when in fact they had a random character. For example, Barbara moved to California, where she ended up Californian (“Barbara moved from California to New York where she met her love as a result of a Californian”).
Another of the most common mistakes. Nauseous (nauseous) means not nausea as a result of illness, but that someone or something causes disgust in others. For example, That week-old hot dog is nauseous (“That hot dog a week ago is nauseous”). When you become disgusted and sick as a result of this, you will become nauseated. For example, I was nauseated by the idea of traveling together (“I was nauseated at the thought of traveling together”).
In order to avoid similar mistakes in the future, John Gingerick recommends using the book The Elements of Style by William Stranck (Jr.) and Alvin Brooks White (EB White).
And what difficulties in English grammar did you encounter? Share your experiences in the comments.