English Grammar, How to spell, Word Differences

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The knowledge of good grammar, ability to distinguish the differences between some tricky words in English and awareness of local meaning are important skills to have. In this section, we are going to be comparing some common differences between words in English.

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Have a look at some important words differentiations:
Adviser vs advisor
Anyway vs anyways
Affect vs effect
Already vs all ready
Ammount vs Amount
Appartment vs apartment
Bad vs badly
Beautifull vs beautiful
Began vs begun
Breath vs breathe
Bussiness vs business
Canceled vs Cancelled
Carefull vs Careful
Controll vs control
Excelent vs excellent
Gray vs Grey
Gross vs net
Gaurentee vs guarantee vs garentee
Homogenous vs homogeneous
Longitude vs Latitude
Memoir vs Autobiography
Zucchini vs Cucumber
Coke Zero vs Diet Coke
i.e. vs e.g.
Lay vs lie
Historic vs historical
Realise vs realize
Recomend vs Recommend
Than vs Then
They’re vs There vs Their
Toupe vs toupee
Stationary vs Stationery
Brief vs debrief
New vs knew
Emoticon vs Emoji
Amuse vs bemuse
Juncture vs junction
Accept vs Except
Borrow vs Lend
Complement vs Compliment
Desert vs Dessert
Illicit vs Elicit
I could of vs I could have
Lead vs Led
Sight vs Site
To vs Too vs Two
Assure vs Ensure
Proccess vs Process
Prose vs Verse
Protagonist vs Antagonist
Board book vs Hardcover

When it comes to communication, English is undoubtedly the most widely used language in the world, meaning it is popular even in countries where it is not the native tongue. Knowledge of English grammar is a crucial to life and work in numerous sectors. Because it serves as a common platform for formal and informal communication, cognisance is a must in order to understand as also not to misunderstand what is being said. To this effect, while people might be familiar with the language they may not be aware of the nuances that characterise it, like homonyms.

Having evolved over 1400 years, English that is used today in terms of grammar and syntax is completely different from the West Germanic dialect that was used in medieval England. Today, this language enjoys a coveted status wherein knowing it is a must for any global traveler. Although its dominance is often questioned, it continues to be the lingua franca in every sphere wherein someone who is not aware is likely to miss out a wealth of knowledge.

Like all other languages, English derives its skeletal structure from grammar too, meaning the manner in which words, phrases and clauses are used in order to frame logical sentences. It is a word which is the smallest unit of a sentence and yet the most crucial and this explains as to why presence of every word should be well-thought-out. What renders English more baffling than other languages is the fact that there are several words that sound the same and yet differ vastly in terms of their meaning.

Homophones are a category of words that sound exactly the same on being spoken but mean totally different. For example, ‘their’ vs ‘there’ are homonyms wherein they sound the same but differ in terms of meaning. ‘Homo’ means same while ‘phone’ means sound and therefore homophones are words that can be distinguished by their spelling not how they are pronounced. Popular examples of homophones are accept-except, affect-effect and write-right to name a few. For a person who might be learning the language, the best way to figure out homophones entails applying them to apt situations and learning the manner in which they are used.

Likewise, homographs are words that share the same spelling but mean differently. A typical example of a homograph is bow-bow wherein one refers to a courteous gesture while the other is indicative of a weapon. Bass vs bass is another homographic pair wherein bass could refer to a type of fish or a low baritone.

This discussion would be incomplete without mentioning homonyms wherein words in a pair share the same pronunciation but are spelled differently and of course differ in terms of meaning too. Aisle and isle are two words that can hardly be distinguished when spoken but mean totally different concepts. Hence the best way to distinguish between homonyms entails listening carefully to grab the concept wherein it is being applied and then figure out the word that is being used. For example, if used in context of marriage, the word would be aisle while when used in conjunction with the sea it is an isle.

True though it is that homonyms are difficult to grasp and master, they play a major role in promoting an understanding of the language and hence are a must-know if fluency in English is to be attained. Being vigilant about words is a good way to grasp homonyms and as long as you can keep track of them mentally or by writing, comfort in using them is not as elusive as it seems.

Another concept in English language is that of synonyms which refers to words that are very close to each other in meaning and yet are unique enough to be applied in a particular context. What renders synonyms confusing is that these often overlap in terms of meaning, thus leaving the speaker baffled as to which word should be used. For example, an introduction refers to the opening paragraph of any written or spoken form of English and yet it can also be described as a preface, foreword or an epilogue. Likewise, a geographical region which is referred to as ‘plains’ in one part of the world could be known as ‘steppes’ in some other continent and ‘savannah’ in some other.
At times, words refer to some actions which may be very similar to each other and yet imply a different relationship. For example, teach is a general word which just refers to teaching but when it is replaced by its synonym educate, instruct or tutor, it is indicative of varying relationships between the student and the teacher. Such words may be very similar to each other in meaning but they cannot be used interchangeably since doing so would serve to modify the meaning of the sentence completely. Therefore, the student needs to be conscious while using these words and ensure that an apt word is employed for the context in question.

One of the ways of distinguishing between words and learning their usage entails studying the parts of speech of English Knowar. In English, there are eight parts of speech and amongst them there are four open classes and the remaining four are closed classes. There are words which could belong to more than one class and this is often determined by the manner in which the word is used. For example, in the sentence ‘I went for a run’ the word ‘run’ is a noun where as in a sentence like ‘run and go’ it acts as an action word, namely verb.

Several words together form a phrase and in English, phrases could be noun, adverb or adjective depending on their relevance in a given sentence. Then phrases could be verb, propositional and determiner too depending on the nature of inclusion in the sentence. Having a grammar book close at hand is a must for all learners of the language and this should remain in your collection even after you have mastered the language so that it could serve as a reference guide should such a situation arise.

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