English Common Usage

1 / 45
Click the card to flip 👆
Terms in this set (45)
ANYWHERE/EVERYWHERE/NOWHERE/SOMEWHERENever end these adverbs with an -s.AS TOreplace it with "about" (I am as excited about this as you are.)ATdon't use "at" after "where"; eliminate it (I don't know where it is.)A WHILE/AWHILEA WHILE: usually used after prepositions such as "for" or "after" (I will be gone for a while.) AWHILE: means "for a while"BAD/BADLYBAD: "incorrect," "ill," or "undesirable" (She got a bad grade.) BADLY: "in a bad way" or "poorly" (She behaved badly.)BECAUSEdon't use "because" after the word "reason" (The reason my dog barks so much is that people walk by our yard all the time.)BEING AS/BEING THATdon't use either expression; use "because" or "since" instead (I had to dry my hair since I took a shower.)BESIDE/BESIDESBESIDE: means "close to" or "as the side of" (A tree is beside my house.) BESIDES: means "in addition to" (Besides my grandma, my aunt and uncle came to my house as well.)BRING/TAKEBRING: means "to carry from a distant place to a nearer one" (She will bring me my shoes.) TAKE: means "to carry from a near place to a more distant one" (I will take her the shoes.)DIFFERENT FROM/DIFFERENT THANDIFFERENT FROM: *preferred* (A transportation town was different from a mining town.) DIFFERENT THAN: *less acceptable* (A transportation town was different than a mining town.)DOESN'T/DON'TDOESN'T: used for third person singular subjects (He doesn't want to stay.) DON'T: used with all other subjects (I don't want to stay.)DONEshould always follow a helping verb (Merchants have done their job.)DUE TOmeans "caused by" and should be used only when the words "caused by" can logically be substituted (She turned in her homework late due to procrastination.)FARTHER/FURTHERFARTHER: refers to distance (She was farther away from the building than I was.) FURTHER: means "to a greater degree or extent" or "additional" (Her company was further developed than her competitors.)FEWER/LESSFEWER: used with objects that can be counted (There were fewer apples than grapes.) LESS: used with qualities or quantities that cannot be counted (She was less prepared for the interview than I was.)GONE/WENTGONE: used as a verb only with a helping verb (We should have gone west to find a better camping spot.) WENT: never used with a helping verb (They went west to find a better camping spot.)IN/INTOIN: refers to position (People often travel in cars.) INTO: suggests a motion (They moved into the house.)IRREGARDLESSThis is a double negative. Remove the "ir-" (We camped there regardless of the dangers.)JUSTwhen used to mean "no more than", place it right before the word or phrase it logically modifies (The houses were made of just wood.)KIND OF/SORT OFThese expressions shouldn't be used to mean "rather" or "somewhat" (The travel was rather/somewhat slow.)LAY/LIELAY: means "to put or set (something) down" (I had to lay the book on the desk.) LIE: means "to recline" I had to lie down after school because I had a headache.)LEARN/TEACHLEARN: means "to acquire knowledge" (I go to school so I can learn.) TEACH: means "to give knowledge to" (My instructors at school teach me skills that I will use later in life.)LEAVE/LETLEAVE: means "to allow to remain" (They leave books on the floor.) LET: means "to permit" (I didn't let the children misbehave.)LIKEa preposition; should not be used in place of the conjunction "as" (He roared like a lion.)OFa preposition; don't use in place of the verb "have" (I would have watched the entire class.)ONLYplace in front of the verb you mean to modify (I only watched the boy as her ran.)SEENcan be used as a verb only with a helping verb (the judge has seen a number of criminals.)SET/SITSET: means "to put (something) in a certain place" (I set the book down.) SIT: means "to be seated" (The students sit in their assigned seats everyday.)SOcoordinating conjunction; should be avoided when yo mean "so that" (I ran so that he could not catch me.)THAN/THENTHAN: use in comparisons (The car was faster than the bus.) THEN: usually refers to time (I ran, and then I drank some water.)THAT/WHICH/WHOTHAT/WHICH: refer to things (That is the car that the woman rode in.) WHO: refer only to people (A wrangler is one who takes care of the extra horses on a cattle drive.)THEIR/THERE/THEY'RETHEIR: always modifies a noun (That is their house.) THERE: used as an expletive or as an adverb (There is the park.) THEY'RE: a contraction of "they are" (They're the ones who won the prize.)THEMdon't use a substitute for "those" (Those cars are very fast.)TO/TOO/TWOTO: begins a phrase or an infinitive (to the house) TOO: modifies adjectives and other adverbs (too fast) TWO: a number (two people)WHEN/WHEREdon't use directly after a linking verb; don't use "where" in place of "that" (He heard that we would eat after we watched the game.)