English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Words and Phrases Frequently Misused (3)

Compare to / Compare with
Compare to means showing the similarities; compare with means noting the differences.
e.g. Shakespeare compared the world to a stage.
e.g. Compared to your previous work, this is much better.

Indict / Indite
Indict means to accuse formally; indite means to write down or compose.
e.g. The attorney general decided to indite the police officer for shooting at an unarmed man.
e.g. The police would like the man to indite the occurrence of the events with all relevant details.

A few / few
A few has a more positive meaning; few has a more negative meaning
e.g. A few people might ask for your help.
e.g. We were disappointed that only few people showed up.

Perspective / Prospective
Perspective is an opinion or point of view; prospective means related to the future.
e.g. From the perspective of a woman, how do you look at this case of domestic violence?
e.g. Any person who walks into this shop is a prospective customer.

Ingenious / Ingenuous
Ingenious means clever and intelligent like a genius; ingenuous means honest and sincere.
e.g. This was an ingenious way of stealing antique paintings from the museum.
e.g. I am sure his feelings for her were ingenuous.

Marital / Martial
Marital means relating to marriage; martial means relating to the army or warlike.
e.g. I eoulf not to get involved with their marital conflicts.
e.g. A military court is a court court-marshal.

Forbear / Forebear
Forbear means to tolerate, refrain from; forebear means an ancestor
e.g. You have to forbear from asking too many questions.
e.g.  He always takes pride in that Charles Dickens was his forbear.

,Stephen Lau

Read my most recent publication: Everyday American Idioms.for ESL Learners.(to get the paperback edition, click here)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Words and Phrases Frequently Misused (2)

Approve / Approve of
Approve means to give consent or agreement; approve of  means to think well of someone or something.
e.g. The proposal was approved by the board.
e.g. I don't think I approve of the future of the economy.
 
Imply / Infer
Imply means to suggest; infer means to draw a conclusion from.
e.g. Your comments imply that you don't want to come to the party.
e.g. I can infer from your comments that you didn't like her.
 
High / Tall
High refers to distance above the ground or floor; tall refers to distance from base to top.
e.g. a high roof, a high window; a tall person, a tall tree.
Tall can also mean "incredible" or "difficult to believe or to do."
e.g. My boss gave me a tall order; I don't think I can do it.
e.g. He was telling such a tall story, and he expected us to believe it.

Artist / Artiste
An artist is someone who does art work, such as painting and sculpture; an artiste is a performer.
e.g. My brother is an artist--he paints; my sister is an artiste--she performs on stage.

Rise / Raise
Rise is intransitive (not requiring an object); raise is transitive (requiring an object).
e.g. He performed well and rose to the occasion.
e.g. The manager raised my salary.

Stephen Lau

Read my most recent publication: Everyday American Idioms.for ESL Learners.(to get the paperback edition, click here)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Words and Phrases Frequently Misused

Indoor / Indoors
Indoor is an adjective; indoors is an adverb.
e.g. Bowling is an indoor game.
e.g. It's going to rain; let's go indoors.

Impersonate / Personate
Impersonate is to copy or imitate a person for fun; personate is to claim to be another person with the purpose to cheat or deceive.
e.g. The comedian impersonated the President to entertain the audience.
e.g. Someone personated the client, and took the money.

Everyday / Every day
Everyday is an adjective.
e.g. This is an everyday event.
e.g. This happens in every day.
e.g. Every day somebody is killed on the road.

Pretense / Pretension
Pretense is to make believe; pretension is a claim
e.g. I make no pretense to like her (I do not pretend that I like her).
e.g. I make no pretension to that award.

Welcome / Welcomed
Welcome is an adjective; welcomed is a participle.
e.g. You are most welcome.
e.g. You were welcomed by all of us in front of the house.

Providing that / Provided that
Providing that is incorrect.
e.g. You can go out to play provided (that) you have finished your home work.
e.g. You can keep the book for another week providing that no one has reserved it (incorrect: provided that should be used instead).

Ingenious / Ingenuous
Ingenious is clever; ingenuous is natural, free from deceit.
e.g. I must say that was an ingenious way to stead the money.
e.g. His response was sincere and ingenuous.

Accountable to / Accountable for
Accountable to someone; accountable for something (meaning "responsible for").
e.g. The Manager has to be accountable to the Board; he has to be accountable for all his business decisions.

Stephen Lau

Read my most recent publication: Everyday American Idioms.for ESL Learners.(to get the paperback edition, click here)