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How do I know which word to use in the correct context?

How do I recognize these words when hearing them?

Examples:

Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko.

Elvis walked through the door.

John was through with work for the day.

Gareth was through with mosquitoes coming through the window!

Edward was very thorough when cleaning the kitchen.

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I can't understand your question honestly... "How do which word to use in the correct place?" –  Alenanno Apr 23 '11 at 10:47
    
Thanks to @Billare for correction. By the way, I was going to answer but my honest opinion is that it doesn't really sound like an actual question. –  Alenanno Apr 23 '11 at 11:11
    
@Billare..Thanks a lot for editing the question..i will keep this in mind next time when i post a question –  prem shekhar Apr 23 '11 at 11:17
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@Alenanno Actuly i used to get confused which word fits best in the context....lots of confusions at that time –  prem shekhar Apr 23 '11 at 11:19
    
For the second question, "threw", "through", and "thru" are all homophones, meaning they are pronounced the same, as /θruː/. "Thorough" is pronounced /θəroʊ/ –  nohat Apr 17 at 20:44
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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

thorough is not a synonym with either thru, threw and through, it means something completely different.

through is used in reference to a movement or passage that proceeds linearly through is quite common, while thru is nonstandard and should be avoided

http://thesaurus.com/browse/through

Threw (Past tense of throw)

propel something through the air

http://thesaurus.com/browse/threw

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OK, although just saying "nonstandard and should be avoided" is simply a value judgement and doesn't explain anything about when the form is actually used. My observation would be that it tends to be used in cases where there is a need to save space and/or for dramatic effect (e.g. advertising, titles, LED displays...). N.B. "thru" is rarely used in the UK. –  Neil Coffey Apr 23 '11 at 14:39
    
@NeilCoffey - I would put it this way: When is it used? When an advertiser wants to save space or be cute. When should it be used? Never. –  MT_Head Apr 17 at 22:31
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I don't think people are understanding your question. You are asking how can tell the difference between 'threw', 'through', 'thorough' when you are hearing them being said, right?

Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko.

Elvis walked through the door.

John was through with work for the day.

Gareth was through with mosquitoes coming through the window!

Edward was very thorough when cleaning the kitchen.

Pronunciation

You can tell 'thorough' apart from the others through it's pronunciation.

It's different. If somebody has a thick accent though I guess 'thorough' might sound like 'throw' if somebody is not careful in their annunciation.

which brings me to

Context

The context is what will help you.

Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko.

The meaning is that a person named Jimmy tossed a ring to another person.

Elvis walked through the door.

(Concrete) A person named Elvis walked in a part of space that is, or is usually occupied by a solid object. So you can't walk into a room if the door is closed. (Solid Object) but when the door is open you can walk 'through' it. (The example isn't easy to use since in reality you are walking through the door frame but that's not how language works, unless you want to be pedantic.)

John was through with work for the day.

(Abstract) John was done with work, he wasn't going to continue work. It's meaning is the same as the sentence with Elvis but the context is different. Instead of a physical object, it's a task or a dedicated time of day, where once he had passed the time, or completed his task, he had moved to the other side of the object, by doing the task. This might be better. Elvis moved through the door frame and ended up on the other side.

Gareth was through with mosquitoes coming through the window!

The first through is the same as the previous sentence, the second the same as the Elvis sentence.

the point

Using context you can see the difference. Jimmy couldn't through the ring at Emiko unless he did something to the ring.

Subject + Verb

Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko

Jimmy jumped through the ring and lunged at Emiko

Where did he throw the ring = at Emiko Where did he jump = Through the ring

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“thorough” is a completely different word, which isn't pronounced remotely like “thru”, “threw”, and “through”. “thru” is an unorthographic writing of “through”. So, the remaining ambiguity (between “threw” and “through”) must just be decided by context.

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Isn't it clearer to only say " “thorough” isn't pronounced remotely like “thru”, “threw”, and “through”", because "threw" is also completely different word than "through". –  Theta30 Apr 24 '11 at 2:02
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I would say that the word thru is used mostly when you are discusssing something pertaining to the past, or if it is dealing with passing something or someone. You could say " I came thru there last night." It could mean you were between cities or states, but you were traveling. Passing one place to get to another. "I went past there, or I am passing thru your part of town tomorrow. The words thru, through, and threw, the latter two have two entirely different meanings. Through means to go through something it could be emotionally, showing feelings, for something or someone. Through is meant to be used when you are sharing an experience with another person. It is personal actually. It is like an accomplishment. The word threw, as we all know means to throw something at someone, or throw an object aiming to hit a target.

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The "thru" spelling is just an incorrect spelling of through. –  Tristan r Apr 17 at 20:37
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