I just read an essay in which a student wrote “I gave a complement to the author after the presentation.” This prickly pair needs clarification. Here’s my complimentary mini-lesson on these two complementary words: Complementary vs. Complimentary Entities that go well together are complementary. The colors blue and gray complement each other. Two people who… Continue reading A Complimentary Lesson about Complementary Words
This particular prickly pair of words gets my students pondering. All Together Vs. Altogether A. All Together means: 1. at the same time One, two, three, all together, sing: “Sweeeeet Caroline, bum, bum, bum . . . .” 2. as a group Let’s go to hot yoga all together: it’s much more fun that… Continue reading All Together Now . . . Don’t Be Altogether Confused
There are so many misused words in our crazy language. This pair is one of the most confusing because the past tense of one is the same as the present tense of the other. ⇒ ⇒ Lay vs. Lie Lay means “to place something down.” It is something you do to something else. Incorrect:… Continue reading Lay Down the Lie
I previously posted about using advisor vs. adviser, but I neglected to share the tricky difference between advice vs. advise. Advice vs. Advise advice = an opinion about how to solve a problem; guidance (noun) advise = to offer advice; to counsel (verb) pronounced advize EXAMPLES: Please give me some advice about what to do. Please advise… Continue reading Some Advice on Advise
“Like” must be one of the most abused words in the English language. Like, what’s up with, like, the overuse of, like, the word “like.” Like, I don’t understand how, like, people are actually, like, communicating with as many uses of the word “like.” Like, the most used word in, like, most high schools… Continue reading Like, When Do I Use As?
A student came up to me after class and asked if irregardless was a word. This prompted GG’s latest mini-lesson: Irregardless vs. Regardless To answer my student’s question, irregardless is not a word. It is a double negative, combining the words regardless and irrespective. Yes, there can be double negatives in English as well as… Continue reading Disregard the Irregardless
Here is another pair of words many of us interchange incorrectly. Between vs. Among Use between when you refer to to people, places, or things. Example: Kimm had to choose between going on a cruise and catching three Broadway shows. Use among when you refer to three or more people, places, or things. Example: The… Continue reading Between is Among the Difficult
Adviser or Advisor??? AP style tells us to use adviser rather than advisor but it does not indicate why. I am interested in learning the reason. Perhaps it has to do with the etymology of the word. Maybe because the root verb (“advise”) ends in the letter E, the -er suffix is preferred to the… Continue reading Advise the Adviser
Being hopeful is a good thing. It is always better to see the glass half full than half empty. Overusing the word hopefully, on the other hand, is not such a good thing. Hope vs. Hopefully The word hopefully is an adverb. An adverb is a word that describes a verb, so hopefully is a word that… Continue reading Are you hoping or hopeful?
A follower just asked me if “yous guys” is proper English. This is a great question, considering the amount of colloquial language thrown around carelessly every day. As the school year creeps upon us, now is the perfect time to clean up our communication skills. You Guys vs. Yous Guys Let’s set the record straight… Continue reading You Guys Can’t Be With Yous Guys
I could write 1,000 mini-lessons and still not cover all of the confusing words in the English language. Worse vs. Worst Worse is a comparative. Use it when comparing two things, just like better only in the negative instead of the positive. This means when comparing two things, one will always be “worse” and not “worst”… Continue reading Is it Worse to Say Worst?
A couple of months ago, my brother brought up the question as to the difference between healthy and healthful. I was on vacation visiting at the time and put it in the back of my mind to think about later. Writing my most recent post about my favorite snack made me recall that question. I’m… Continue reading News Flash – No One Can Eat Healthy!
It’s summer but that doesn’t mean Grading Girl doesn’t have time for a mini-lesson! I can’t help it . . . when I hear a grammar goof, my wheels start spinning. I was in a boutique the other day and couldn’t help but overhear a fellow patron in the next dressing room exclaim she was nauseous and… Continue reading Nauseated by the Nauseous