Questions regarding words/phrases which are commonly confused with one another

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0
votes
1answer
33 views

Correct use of lie or lay in the following context

I based my final year project around web technologies where my strengths lie. OR I based my final year project around web technologies where my strengths lay.
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Can “whatever” be split into two words?

I tend to write, "say whatever they want", but I'm always tempted to write "say what ever they want". Is it acceptable to split the word in this context?
16
votes
5answers
18k views

“Electronic” vs. “electric”

Most people would refer to computers as being electronic, whereas a flashlight would be described as electric. I know the general difference (electronic devices use transistors?), but what is it ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

a 'geek', a 'computer addict'?

As I see some people, especially internauts, just by thinking that they had posted a video in youtube, or they have a facebook account, or they've created a blogger website etc..., they simply call ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between “lay” and “lie”?

How do I know when to use lay and when to use lie, and what are the different forms of each verb? I'm always getting them confused.
-1
votes
2answers
51 views

Are there any differences between later, latter and last? [closed]

Can I say a later bus? Or should I say a latter bus? For example I was in a hurry to catch a ... bus to the city centre.
10
votes
10answers
9k views

How do you remember the difference between a “stalactite” and a “stalagmite”?

Is there a good mnemonic for remembering the difference between "stalactite" (hangs down) and "stalagmite" (points up)?
0
votes
3answers
108 views

What is difference between “faulty” and “broken”?

I was working as an intern in Malaysia. Once day, my advisor asked me to check some electronic device. He said: "Can you check them for me if which one is faulty please separate it to another ...
2
votes
3answers
259 views

Usage of 'customs' in lieu of 'immigration'

Over at the Travel SE beta (it's in private beta so I'm not sure how many here will be able to access it), I came across a question whether the OP uses "clearance through US Customs" when I'm ...
1
vote
4answers
20k views

How do you differentiate “thru”, “threw”, “through”, and “thorough”?

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. ...
14
votes
2answers
51k views

“Farthest” vs. “furthest”

My spellchecker insists on replacing "furthest" with "farthest". I was under the impression that farthest is strictly speaking in terms of distance, whereas furthest is more abstract. A poster on ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

girlfriend / boyfriend confusion [duplicate]

During a discussion, I was trying to make a point; I told the woman I was speaking to, You're wrong! I have a girlfriend who plays videogames! This backfired; she assumed I had a girlfriend. How ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

confusion of dont vs doesnt [duplicate]

i have heard that it should does/does not for he/she/it and do/don't for i/you/we/they But I am confused when i always get to hear people talking do and don't for he/she Even in a lecture i listened ...
2
votes
1answer
569 views

all but.. none but.. usage

I'm a bit confused with the usage of all but and none but: "We are all but defenseless" – should mean we are definitely defenseless? "None but misfortunes follow" – only ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Looking for a list of “english words” that exist in other languages, but with different meanings

I had a terrible misunderstanding with a semi-conservative Turkish woman who was offended when I said "Let's have brunch, and I'll bring some platonic female friends" I'm told that in Turkey, ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Raise and Rise revisited - But what if it's a noun?

I come to you again from the cooking site. I see this: What is the difference between "raise" and "rise"? and it comes close to answering my question, but not quite. In my world of ...
6
votes
1answer
35k views

“Without further adieu” vs “Without further ado”

I have just seen an email containing the phrase "Without further adieu"; I always thought it was "Without further ado." Which is it?
0
votes
1answer
109 views

When to use 'will' and when to use 'shall'? [duplicate]

I always get confused in using will and shall. Same way when to use must and should.
1
vote
2answers
498 views

“Extended” vs. “extensive” [closed]

What's the difference between these two? I found the following after some research, “Extended” has to do with time, “extensive” with space. An extended tour lasts a long time; an extensive tour ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “palazzo” and “palace”?

I have noticed that palazzo is used not only in Italian but in English too. So what is the difference between palazzo, and palace (in English)?
3
votes
2answers
309 views

Time: Move “backwards” or “forwards”

Let us pay attention to the terms back and forward in the quote below. On the 4th of June they had the drill for independence day. But if you go back further you'd find that around mid-May, they ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

What is the difference between “brush aside” and “brush off”?

He brushed her ideas / accusations aside He brushed her ideas / accusations off She brushed him off / aside after breaking up What's the difference between brush off and brush aside? I looked the ...
4
votes
3answers
433 views

How to remember the difference between: “Can you try to open this jar?” and “Can you try opening this jar?”

I am well aware that a similar question has been asked in the past, namely “Try to save” or “try saving”. However, I am not totally satisfied by the posted answers. My problem is that, every time I ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

You didn't miss me, right? (possible answer with correct use of English)

A) No, I didn't miss you. B) Yes, I didn't miss you. C) No, I did miss you. D) Yes, I did miss you. According to my common sense perfect answers can be C) and B) only, and reason behind it is- ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

What's the difference between “get it” and “got it”? [closed]

They are not "I get it." or "I got it.". They are only "Get it." and "Got it.". I'm wondering what's the difference between them.
25
votes
8answers
58k views

Is it correct to say Person A is the “spitting image” or the “splitting image” of Person B?

I understand that when trying to describe a person who has a resemblance to another, the common term is spitting image. As in: Person A is a spitting image of Person B. Here's my issue, I've ...
4
votes
2answers
350 views

What is the error called when numbers are confused with letters?

In serial numbers etc., there are many cases where you can't tell if the intended character is a number or a letter. For example, the number 0 and the letter O, the number 1 and the letters l or I, ...
5
votes
5answers
833 views

She was carrying twins and a bulky bag in her hands [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using verbs with multiple meanings I am not sure if this is Indian English but the verb carry is often used in India to speak of a pregnant woman and often without an ...
2
votes
1answer
384 views

Difference between “improvisation” and “extempore” [closed]

What is the difference between improvisation¹ and extempore² and where should one use each of these terms?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How did the word “busybody” end up meaning so different from what it appears on its face to imply?

When I learned the word busybody the first time, I was in 5th grade. It appeared in a story I had to learn for class. I figured it meant someone who was very busy, and didn't bother to look it up. ...
18
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is there confusion between depreciated and deprecated?

For at least a year and half, I read "deprecated" as "depreciated", even when writing it down myself, I would spell it as "depreciated", even though pretty much every time I read it, it was spelt ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

“Emigrant” vs. “immigrant”

While studying one word substitution I came across these two words, what I understood till now is like this: Emigrant: One who leaves his own country to reside to another. Immigrant: A person who ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Is Saturday night before or after Saturday? [closed]

People sometimes write something like "let's finish this work by Saturday night" or "let's meet on Saturday night". Which day and time do they mean? Is it short for tonight, and then it's on Saturday ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

“There’s” or “There are”?

I wanted to get the usage of There’s clarified. I have read sentences like: There’s a lot of projects on that topic. It appears to me that There’s applies to a lot of projects, rather than to ...
28
votes
3answers
97k views

What's the difference between “eldest” and “oldest”?

When should I use "eldest" and when should I use "oldest"? Are the differences semantic or regional? (Or both?) (What got me wondering is the removeEldestEntry() method in Java's LinkedHashMap ...
3
votes
3answers
362 views

Does one “douse” or “dowse” a spotlight or projector?

A recent SMS conversation has prompted me to question my use of "dowse", "dowsing", and so on in relation to lighting instruments and projection equipment. I do not remember from where I got this ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between sugar cane and cane sugar?

I've heard people use them interchangeably. Just so I don't go crazy, what is the difference?
5
votes
2answers
14k views

Can one “affect” change?

In an article today in the Christian Science Monitor, they give a Fox transcript of Palin's recent speech as follows: “Somebody like me – is a title and is a campaign too shackling?” said Palin. ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Location” vs. “locality” [closed]

I can't seem to find a good explanation of what the differences are between the words location and locality. Are they interchangeable, or are there certain contexts in which one or the other must be ...
28
votes
2answers
16k views

When I should use “assure” vs. “ensure” vs. “insure”?

When is it appropriate to use assure vs. ensure vs. insure?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference in usage between “ostensive” and “ostensible” [closed]

I know that ostensive and ostensible are both adjectives, but can someone give me proper usage of each in their adjective forms? In their adverb forms, they almost sound identical.
8
votes
2answers
19k views

“Alternately” or “alternatively”

What is the difference between alternately and alternatively? I've seen both words being used, but which one is grammatically correct? He could do X. Or alternately, he could do Y. He could do ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison?

Do you think you are smarter then me? While this question should be using than...I have to wonder if this is a debatable topic within English or is this cut and dry? If this specific instance is ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “everyday” and “every day”?

I constantly see "everyday" being used in cases where the writer really means "every day". For example, here's a sentence from Google's eBooks documentation: "New titles are being added to Google ...
1
vote
4answers
150 views

Present, present, and present?

Please present your next idea. Did you buy her a present? No vacancies at present. Do all the bold words have the same spelling, yet all of them have different meanings based on the ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

When to use “essay” vs “assay” (as a verb)?

By the dictionary definition as a verb, I can see that essay and assay have the same meaning, i.e. "make an effort or attempt". I'm wondering if they are totally interchangeable, or is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
963 views

“Invidious” vs. “Insidious”

Can anyone give me a really short & sharp distinction between these two words? Are they notorious for often getting mixed up?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “raise” and “rise”?

What is the difference between raise and rise? When and how should I use each one?
2
votes
3answers
881 views

An International English Olympiad question

I had recently appeared for an English Olympiad, and this particular question confused me: Q) Choose the odd pair: A. cat:feline B. monkey:simian C. horse:stallion D. cow:bovine Now, the ...
1
vote
3answers
422 views

What is “the hottest seat/seed in town”?

What is "the hottest seat/seed in town"? I am not sure if it's a seed or seat or something else. I heard it a few times on "CNN" when a new upcoming "Larry King Live" program was being advertised. ...