Common Mistakes and Confusing Words

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Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2012, 01:58:51 PM »
Thank you, Nujhat.

Offline Antara11

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2012, 12:18:01 PM »
Helping students in a truly great way.

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Offline Bhowmik

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Re: data vs datum
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2012, 12:50:07 PM »
data vs datum

This isn't so much a common mistake as a common cause for arguments (as is often the case with words of Latin origin).

The dictionaries treat data as a group noun, meaning information, especially facts or numbers, collected for examination and consideration and used to help decision-making, or meaning information in an electronic form that can be stored and processed by a computer.

Then they go on to confuse matters by giving the following kind of example:-

The data was/were reviewed before publishing.

So, which is it, was or were? Strictly speaking 'datum' is the singular form and 'data' is the plural form.

If you're writing for an academic audience, particularly in the sciences, "data" takes a plural verb.

For example:-

The data are correct.

But most people treat 'data' as a singular noun, especially when talking about computers etc.

For example:-

The data is being transferred from my computer to yours.

And I have to be honest, I've never heard anyone ask for a datum.

Offline Bhowmik

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Re: Common Mistakes and Confusing Words
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2012, 12:52:07 PM »
don't have to vs mustn't[/color]
   

Don't have to = Do not have to

We use don't have to to say that there is no obligation or necessity to do something.

For example: "You don't have to do the exercises at the end of this page."

Mustn't = must not

We use mustn't to show that something is not allowed. When you use mustn't you are telling people not to do something. It has the same force as don't , as in: Don't do that!

For example: "You mustn't drink if you're going to drive."