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.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Words Frequently Confused and Misused

WET / WETTED

Wet is the present, past, and particle of “wet”; wetted, as the past and participle of “wet”, means something done deliberately and purposely.
e.g. The heavy rain last night wet the balcony completely.
e.g. He wetted the cloth in the hot water before putting it on his body.
e.g. They wetted the appetite of the guests with a fragrant soup.


DEFER / DEFER TO

Defer means to delay or postpone; defer to means to give way or show respect for.
e.g. I wish to defer my trip.
e.g. I defer to your request to cancel my trip.

PURPOSELY / PURPOSEFULLY

Purposely means deliberately; purposefully means in a determined way.
e.g. That guy purposely left the trash on the sidewalk.
e.g. The student purposefully worked on his project to get a better score for further advancement. 

COMMON SENSE / COMMONSENSE

Common sense is always put in two words. Use a hyphened compound work ass an adjective, and not as one single word.
e.g. Use your common sense when you do this.
e.g. This is just a common-sense approach to the problem.

ALLOW / ALLOW OF

Allow means permit; allow of means leave room for.
e.g. The new regulation will not allow you to do this.
e.g. The procedure is so precise that it will not allow of any variation.

Stephen Lau