Well I haven’t written here in a very long time, and for that I apologize. Life has gotten in the way of my writing lately and it set me far off track… Summer, warm weather, children and general chaos have brought all of my brilliant post topics to a halt over the last few months, but I am back on track and here today to share a quick post on often confused and misused words. Most of these will be pretty basic, and if you are already aware of the differences good for you, this is a refresher basically and a reminder that it is important to think before, and after, you write.
Often Confused and Misused Words (short list)
- Affect and Effect
– Affect = to influence, to pretend.
– Effect = a result, to make happen.
*Most often Affect is used as a verb and Effect is used as a noun.*
Something that Affects you will Effect you.
- There, Their and They’re
– There = that place
– Their = belonging to them
– They’re = contraction of ‘they are’
This one is pretty basic and is an elementary school reminder.
- Accept and Except
– Accept = to receive
– Except = to leave out
Accept that some times you have to Except.
- All Ready and Already
– All Ready = prepared
– Already = by this time, now
I am sure you knew this Already, so we are All Ready to move on.
- Its and it’s
– Its = of or belonging to it
– It’s = contraction of ‘it is’
Another one of those basics that we often forget or easily confuse and misuse.
- Principal and Principle
– Principal = most important, a person of authority
– Principle = a general or fundamental truth
The school Principal explained the Principle of good behavior.
- Stationary and Stationery
– Stationary = standing still
– Stationery = writing paper
She remained Stationary in the long line, her cart filled with Stationery she needed to buy.
- Supposed To – This is the correct form for ‘obligated to’ NOT Suppose To!
- Than and Then
– Than = use for comparison
– Then = at that time, next
It is better to use Then correctly Than to misuse it and be wrong.
- To and Too
– To = toward
– Too = also
Many writer’s go To workshops, and I want to go to one Too.
*Another simple word that is commonly misused*
- Who and Whom
– Who = referring to a person or person’s
– Whom = used as an object
John is a man Who can get the job done. Whom would John choose to help him?
*This is misused commonly and you should pay close attention to your use of Whom*
This is a ‘short list’ of commonly confused and misused words, there are many more to discover. For a more detailed list check out ‘The University of Richmond Writing Center’ and the ‘Writer’s Web: Commonly Confused Words‘
Have your own confused and misused words to add? Feel free to share them in the comments area below. Comments are always appreciated, as are article and writing submissions.
Questions and Submissions can be sent to
Until Next Time…
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