Commonly Confused


Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: There, Their, and They’re   There are certain homophone errors that are quite common. The subject of today’s post is one of worst offenders. Issues with these three words are in virtually every manuscript I edit. So here’s a quick guide to help you keep them straight. The overview of antecedents is just a bonus. 🙂 So let’s get to it!   There...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Lie versus Lay You know that one grammar mistake that will stop you in your tracks and send your hackles up, no matter what, no matter where, no matter how often you read it? Yeah. For me, that’s anytime I see a misuse of the commonly confused pair lie versus lay. Why are these two confused so often? I think it’s for two reasons, actually. But first,...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Farther versus Further   I’ll admit it. There was time when farther versus further confused me. Maybe I was too literal as a child and had a hard time thinking figuratively. The good news is I’ve mastered the ability to think figuratively now that I’m *cough* older *cough* and have had an understanding of farther versus further for a long time now. These two words are frequently mixed up...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Discreet versus Discrete There are times when embarrassment is a good teacher and today’s commonly confused was the one that did me in. For years and years I thought it was spelled “discrete”. Maybe it is my preference for “ete” over “eet” or perhaps it was the connection with the spelling of the word “discretion”, who knows, but I got it all wrong,...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned pronoun abuse, but it’s usually as a side note in another article about the local dialect where I live. When I was a child, my younger siblings would say “Me and Janine went to the park.” or “Me and Janine had ice cream today.” Often the adult my siblings were speaking to would jokingly chastise my brother or...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Then versus Than If you asked me what the most common issue I come across when editing, it is confusion between “then” and “than.” These are words that are spelled similarly, but they are used for vastly different functions. The primary difference between “then” and “than” is that “than” is a conjunction and “then” is more often than not an adverb. “Then” is...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Because and Since   You’re probably wondering why I’m writing an article about two words that can be used interchangeably most of the time. Well, that’s because it’s most of the time and not all of the time. There are some instances where these two beauties cannot be swapped one for the other and it simply has to do with the use. When because and since are...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Quick Tips: Is it Much or Many?   When it comes to qualifiers, much and many are quite the troublemakers. Along with their friends little and few, and less and fewer, much and many are two commonly confused adjectives I see when editing. The question is how do you know when to use much and when to use many? It depends on the noun the...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Quick Tips: That’s All Well and Good   Well and good are two words that seem to be used interchangeably with increasing frequency as of late. Either that, or I’m starting to succumb to the elementary school English spoken on the playground when I substitute at recess. So what better way to combat this than with an article to clearly define their proper use. 🙂 There...

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