Common Mistakes and Confusing Words

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Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2011, 01:02:25 PM »
Shamsi Apu,


Thank you for your suggestion. I will explain them soon.

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2011, 08:55:59 AM »
some - any - a little - a few - much - many

 
   
       'Some' 'any' 'a little' 'a few'
are used to express quantity, to say or ask
       if you have a quantity of something or not.

       Some is used in affirmative sentences, and also when asking for or offering something.
Any is used in negative and interrogative sentences.

         A few
is used with countable nouns :        a few apples.
      A little is used with uncountable nouns :   a little cheese.
 
Affirmative
some
There are some apples. 
(We don't know how many,
 but the bowl is not empty)

a few
There are a few apples,
not many, a small number.

a little
There is a little cheese.    

Negative

any
There aren't any apples.
(The bowl is empty)

many
There aren't many apples

much
There isn't much cheese

Interrogative
any   
Are there any apples?
(We want to know if
the bowl contains apples)     

many   
We can also say :
Are there many apples?

much
Is there much cheese?


Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2011, 09:07:00 AM »
few vs a few
before Countable Noun


Few, when used without a preceding a, means "very few" or "none at all".
On the other hand, a few is used to indicate "not a large number". The difference is subtle, yet there are instances where the two can mean completely opposite things.

I have a few objections to the students' proposal. It implies that I am not on board with the students' proposal. I have some objections, but not so many as to say "I have several objections...". Nevertheless, I have objections that need to be addressed.

I have few objections to the students' proposal. It is a more positive statement that implies I am more or less on board with the proposal. It is not a whole-hearted endorsement, but I barely have any objections at all.

In a nutshell:


few = not enough
e.g. This machine is hard to use. There are few suggestions about how to use it.

a few = small number
e.g. This machine is easy to use. There are a few suggestions about how to use it.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 09:09:10 AM by Bhowmik »

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2011, 09:16:34 AM »
A Little - A Few / Little - Few

A little and little refer to non-count nouns/ uncountable nouns, and is used with the singular form:

Examples:

There's little wine left in the bottle.
I've put a little sugar into your coffee.

As A few and few refer to count nouns/ countable nouns, and are used with the plural form (Look at the explanation given in the earlier post.):

Examples:

There are a few students in that classroom.
He says few applicants have presented themselves.

A little and a few convey a positive meaning.

Examples:

I've got a little wine left, would you like some?
They've got a few positions open.

Little and few convey a negative meaning.

Examples:

He's got little money left.
I have few friends in Chicago

Offline shamsi

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2011, 10:28:44 AM »
Thanks Swapan for your quick reply and detail discussion.

I wish you all the best.

Shamsi

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2011, 12:38:23 PM »
Shamsi Apu,
You are welcome.
Please beep me for any further suggestion.

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2011, 12:56:07 PM »
been vs gone    

been is the past participle of be

gone is the past participle of go

Been can be used to describe completed journeys. So if you have been to England twice, you have travelled there and back twice.

For example: I've been to Africa, but I've never been to Asia.

If you have gone to England, you have not yet returned.

For example: I've gone to the bank. I should be back in half an hour.


Swapan Kumar Bhowmik
Lecturer, English
Daffodil International University

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2011, 12:58:56 PM »
Beside vs Besides


beside is a preposition of place that means at the side of or next to.

For example: The house was beside the Thames.

besides is an adverb or preposition. It means in addition to or also.

For example: Besides water, we carried some fruit. = "In addition to water, we carried some fruit."


Swapan Kumar Bhowmik
Lecturer, English
Daffodil International University

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2011, 11:54:34 AM »
bored vs boring    

bored is an adjective that describes when someone feels tired and unhappy because something is not interesting or because they have nothing to do.

For example: She was so bored that she fell asleep.

boring is an adjective that means something is not interesting or exciting.

For example: The lesson was so boring that she fell asleep.

!Note Most verbs which express emotions, such as to bore, may use either the present or the past participle as an adjective, but the meaning of the participles is often different.

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2011, 11:57:34 AM »
borrow vs lend    

To lend:

Meaning: to hand out / to give usually for a certain length of time.

Banks lend money.

Libraries lend books.

For example: "My mother lent me some money, and I must pay her back soon."

To borrow:


Meaning: to take with permission usually for a certain length of time.

You can borrow money from a bank to buy a house or a car.

You can borrow books for up to 4 weeks from libraries in England.

For example: "I borrowed some money off my mother, and I must pay her back soon."

! For a happy life - Never a borrower nor a lender be.

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2011, 11:59:52 AM »
bought vs brought    

bought
past tense of the verb to buy
For example: "I bought a newspaper at the newsagents. "

brought past tense of the verb to bring
For example: "She brought her homework to the lesson."

! As a child I used to struggle to remember this one, until my teacher pointed out that there is an 'r' in brought and an 'r' in bring = they belong together, there is no r in bought and no r in buy = they belong together too.

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2011, 10:23:32 AM »
by vs until    

Both until and by indicate “any time before, but not later than.”

Until tells us how long a situation continues.
If something happens until a particular time, you stop doing it at that time.

For example:

They lived in a small house until September 2003.
(They stopped living there in September.)

I will be away until Wednesday.
(I will be back on Wednesday.)

We also use until in negative sentences.

For example:

Details will not be available until January.
(January is the earliest you can expect to receive the details.)

If something happens by a particular time,
it happens at or before that time. It is often used to indicate a deadline.

For example:

You have to finish by August 31.
(August 31 is the last day you can finish; you may finish before this date.)

We also use by when asking questions.

For example:

Will the details be available by December?
(This asks if they will be ready no later than December.)

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2011, 10:28:05 AM »
career (n)
vs
carrier (n)
vs
courier (n)


Career as a noun is used to describe the job or series of jobs you do during your working life, especially if you continue to get better jobs and earn more money.

For example: "I never imagined I would end up with a career in teaching."

Carrier is a noun, it can mean person or thing that carries something,
or someone who does not suffer from a disease but has the infection can give it to someone else.

For example: "Australians voted British Airways, their least favourite carrier for flights to the UK."

A courier is someone who carries important messages, packages or documents for someone else.

For example: "The United Parcel Service (UPS) is the largest courier service in the world."

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2011, 12:24:06 PM »
check (v)
vs
control (v)    


To check means to examine.
To make certain that something or someone is correct, safe or suitable by examining it or them quickly.

For example: "You should always check your oil, water and tyres before taking your car on a long trip."

To control means to order, limit, instruct or rule something, or someone's actions or behaviour.

For example: "If you can't control your dog, put it on a lead!"

What you shouldn't do is use the verb control in association with people and the work they do.

For example: "I check my students' homework, but I can't control what they do!"

Note!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


In Business English there is often a lot of confusion because of the term control in accounting.

In most organizations the controller is the top managerial and financial accountant. The controller supervises the accounting department and assists management in interpreting and utilizing managerial accounting information.





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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2011, 12:27:01 PM »
come over
vs
overcome    


Come over is a phrasal verb

To move from one place to another, or move towards someone.


For example: "Come over here."

To seem to be a particular type of person
.

For example: "Politicians often come over as arrogant."

To be influenced suddenly and unexpectedly by a strange feeling.


For example: "Don't stand up too quickly or you may come over dizzy."

Overcome
is a verb,
which means to defeat or succeed in controlling or dealing with something.

For example: "Using technology can help many people overcome any disabilities they might have."