Category Archives: Commonly Confused Words

Commonly Confused Words: Shall and Will

Granted, there isn’t really a distinction between “shall” and “will” in Modern English, other than a vague sense that “shall” is more formal. Yet I’ve wondered about their difference, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If nothing else, … Continue reading

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Affect = impact. Effect = consequence.

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Commonly Confused Words: Hanged and Hung

A pair where for the longest time, I’d try to find other words instead of having to figure out which one is correct.

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Commonly Confused Words: Use and Utilize

Yet another pair of words where the distinction probably doesn’t matter much. But I like precision, so: what is the difference between use and utilize?

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“Credible” means believable. “Creditable” means “deserving credit.” You want credible sources to support your points.

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Commonly Confused Words: Credible and Creditable

If your class is like mine, you spend some time discussing reliable, credible sources. Confusion between “credible” and “creditable” is common during those discussions. The words are similar, but have distinct meanings. Credible means believable, reliable. Creditable means “deserving credit … Continue reading

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Commonly Confused Words: Cite, Site, Sight

A common one when it’s research paper time! “Cite” is short for “citation,” which means “quoting a reference.” You need to cite credible sources in your essay. Don’t forget to include citations for all of your sources! “Site” is a … Continue reading

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Commonly Confused Words: Were, Where, Wear

These three sound alike and look alike. But they’re not all that alike. Were = verb (action word), past tense of “to be.” (Other versions of “to be” include is, was, am, are.) Examples: Were you at the concert last … Continue reading

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Commonly Confused Words: Weather, Whether, Wether

“Weather” and “whether” were a commonly confused duo, but recently I’ve seen “wether” thrown into the mix. All three are actual words, and if spelled correctly, generally won’t be caught by spell check. But as you can see, they have … Continue reading

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Commonly Confused Words: Your, You’re, Who’s, Whose

Some pesky possessive and contractions today. Your = possessive form of you. Consider other irregular possessive forms, such as her, our, his, whose. Examples: Here is your cat. How is your day going? You’re = contraction of you are. Examples: … Continue reading

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