Confusing usage words part two

anywhere: in, at, or to any place I think that we can drive anywhere in this county. anywheres: This word does not exist in the English language. as: (conjunction that starts a subordinate clause); (adverb) to the same degree, equally. (As is also a preposition.) Rex is already as tall as his dad. like: (preposition)…

Say to a person, not say a person

Say to a person, not say a person Don’t Say:Kevin said me, Come tomorrow.’ Say:Kevin said to me, ‘Come tomorrow.’

may and might: permission

Asking for permission May and might can be used to ask for permission. They are more formal than can and could. Might is very polite and formal, and is not common. May I put the TV on ? I wonder if I might have a little more cheese? Giving and refusing permission May is used…


Slang is a particular kind of colloquial language. It refers to words and expressions which are extremely informal. Slang helps to make speech vivid, colourful and interesting but it can easily be used inappropriately. Although slang is mainly used in speech, it is also often found in the popular press. It can be risky for…

defect / fault / flaw

A flaw is a problem or err or (small or large) that makes something less effective or valuable. The word flaw can be used for problems in objects, ideas, or people’s character: Objects: This diamond is less expensive because it contains several flaws. Ideas: There’s a major flaw in your plan – it will never…


Stages in a person’s education Here are some names that are used to describe the different types of education in Britain. Note: Comprehensive schools in the UK are for all abilities, but grammar schools are usually by competitive entry. Public schools in the UK are very famous private schools. Polytechnics are similar to universities, but…

present tenses: simple present

Forms Affirmative Question Negative I work you work he/she/it works we work they work do I work? do you work? does he/she/it work? do we work? do they work? I do not work you do not work he/she/it does not work we do not work they do not work Verbs ending in s, -z, -x,…

for: purpose

We use for before a noun to talk about a purpose, or reason for doing something. We went to the pub for a drink I went to London for an interview. We do not use for before a verb to talk about purpose. I went to the pub to have a drink. (NOT . ….

Tired of + -ing

Tired of + -ing Don’t Say:The customer got tired to wait, Say:The customer got tired of waiting.

Say and Tell

Say and Tell Don’t Say:He told, I will/’ll go home.He told that he’d go home. Say:He said, ‘I will/’ll go home.He said that he’d go home.

10 Ways to Say You Don’t Believe Someone

1. Yeah, right.2. You’re kidding.3. You’re pulling my leg.4. That’s a bit of an exaggeration.5. He’s stretching the truth.6. He’s not telling the whole truth.7. She’s being economical with the truth. (= she’s lying or not telling the entire truth)8. His story is fishy.9. That’s an outright lie.10. That’s a pack of lies.

dinner / supper / meal / snack

The word meal means any time when you eat a large amount of food. There are typically 3 meals per day – breakfast (in the morning), lunch (mid-day), and dinner (at night). A snack is a smaller amount of food (for example, a bag of chips or a piece of fruit) and you can eat…

Using what or which after everything, etc

Using what or which after everything, etc Don’t Say:I heard everything which (or what) he said. Say:I heard everything (that) he said. Note:Don’t use the relative pronouns which and what after everything, atf, something, anything, a lot, (not much), little, or Nothing We can use that after these words, or it can be omitted.

5 Ways to Interrupt Someone

1. Sorry to interrupt, but…2. Excuse me – could I talk to you for a minute? / do you have a minute? (when interrupting a conversation between two other people, to talk to one of them)3. Could I jump in here? (use this when interrupting a discussion among many people)4. Sorry – I just want…

Misuse of good for well

Misuse of good for well Don’t Say:The goalkeeper plays very good. Say:The goalkeeper plays very well. Note:Good is an adjective only, and we can’t use it as an adverb

This morning, etc, not today morning, etc

This morning, etc, not today morning, etc Don’t Say:I haven’t seen him today morning. Say:I haven’t seen him this morning. Note:Avoid today morning, today afternoon, today evening, yesterday night,this night. Say: this morning, this afternoon, this evening, last night, tonight.

adjectives: position

{adjective + noun subject + copula verb (be. seem, look etc) + adjective} Most adjectives can go in two places in a sentence: a. before a noun The new secretary doesn’t like me. She married a rich businessman b. after a ‘copula verb’ (be, seem, look, appear, feel and some other verbsThat dress is new,isn’t…

articles: countable and uncountable nouns

A singular countable noun normally has an article or other determiner with it. We can say a cat, the cat, my cat, this cat, any cat, either cat or every cat, but not just cat. (There are one or two exceptions Plural and uncountable nouns can be used without an article or determiner, or with…

Using a country instead of the country

Using a country instead of the country Don’t Say:I spend my holidays in a country. Say:I spend my holidays in the country. Note:A country is a place like France, India, or Egypt. The country is a rural area where there are no towns or cities.

which / that

To understand when to use which and that, we first need to understand the idea of defining and non-defining relative clauses. Non-defining relative clauses add EXTRA information to the sentence. Defining relative clauses add ESSENTIAL information to the sentence. Here’s an example. Let’s imagine that it’s Friday, and I say: The bananas that I bought…

Shapes, Colours and Patterns

Shapes: a square box, a round table, a pointed end, a rectangular field, an oval shape. Note: We can also form adjectives to describe shapes in this way: The ball was egg-shaped; a heart-shaped wedding cake; a diamond-shaped bag. Colours: You will already know most of the common colours. Here are some that are less…

do + -ing

We often use do with -ing to talk about activities that take some time, or that are repeated. There is usually a ‘determiner’ before the ing form — for example the, my, some, much. I do my shopping at weekends. Have you done the washing up? I did a lot of running when I was…

ceiling / roof

The upper interior surface of a room is called the ceiling. The upper exterior surface of a building is called the roof. A tall apartment building has many ceilings inside it, because each level has its own ceiling – but it only has one roof, at the very top.

Distance, size and dimension

Distance: The most common way of asking about distance is probably: How far is it? Here are two more common questions, and some expressions often used in the reply. Note: We can use far in a question or negative but not in a positive statement on its own, e.g. we don’t say ‘it’s far’, we…

The six senses

Our basic five senses are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. What is sometimes referred to as a ‘sixth sense’ is a power to be aware of things independently of the five physical senses, a kind of supernatural sense. The five basic verbs referring to the senses are modified by an adjective rather than an…

Confusing usage words part four

good (adjective) effective; efficient; (adverb) well completely fully Evelyn has been a good physicians assistant for many years now(adjective) This is about as good as it gets for this group. (adverb) well (adverb) in a pleasing or desirable manner fittingly to a larg extent I felt well after the challenging mountain climb. Pierre fit in…

Wrong use of the with man denoting the human race

Wrong use of the with man denoting the human race Don’t Say:The man is born a sinner. Say:Man is born a sinner, Note:Use man, denoting the human race, without the definite article. Also, mankind requires no article Disease is the enemy of mankind.

Except for Besides/As well as

Except for Besides/As well as Don’t Say:I have other books except these. Say:I have other books besides/as well as these (= in addition to these). Note:Except means to leave out Everyone was present except John.