English Lessons on Commonly Misused Words and Phrases
May 18, 2012 Grammar 1805 Views
Are you looking for English lessons online? Are you taking up EFL or ESL and you are still confused with some words or phrases? A lot of times, these commonly misused words are so because they sound alike or they are pronounced very similarly. It really sometimes does not matter if you misuse some words or phrases but for the sake of not sounding funny and to not have somebody pick on you, then here are some words that are frequently misrepresented.
Please bear with me vs. Please bare with me
This is regularly confused by a lot of people. Remember that "bear" has two meanings, it can be the grizzly animal we so love to cuddle with as a stuffed toy or it can mean carrying a burden. When you say "please bear with me", it means you are asking somebody or someone to be patient with you. The word 'bare' on the other hand should not be used with this phrase as this word means being nude or naked. You don't want somebody to "bare" with you, unless you have other intentions!
Affect vs. Effect
Again, a case of two words that is pronounced similarly which leads to its misrepresentation. The word "affect" means having an influence on something or someone, such as: Music has greatly affected my emotions.
"Effect" on the other hand means 'as a result of something', example: The effects of music to each individual may vary.
E.G. vs. I.E.
These two are abbreviations for Latin words. It is often confused since people really do not speak Latin. E.G. stands for "exempli gratia" which simply means "for example": I love eating desserts e.g. chocolates, ice cream and pastries.
I.E. stands for "id est" which in English means "that is" or "such as": I love eating pastries i.e. chocolate éclairs, macaroons and napoleons.
Healthy vs. Healthful
We often hear "healthy diet", "healthy food" and "healthy drinks" when it should really be "healthful". This is used so often, the correct word "healthful" might just become obsolete and completely disappear from the English vocabulary. Healthful means "something that promotes good health", while healthy means "a living thing that is in good health".
Weather vs. Whether
I too am often confused by this. "Weather" is the climate or condition of atmosphere such as snowing or raining. "Whether" is what we use or say when you have to choose between two or more options.
Scapegoat vs. Escape goat
I know this word/phrase can be confusing because of the meaning. The correct one is actually "scapegoat"; it implies to something or somebody that gets blamed for everything even if they had nothing to do with it. So delete escape goat in your mind.
There are still a lot of commonly misused words and phrases in the English language and this lists just a few of them. Continue reading and studying articles such as this so that learning English will be easier. Don't get too overwhelmed, just keep on practicing your English through conversations with other English-speaking people, reading English books/magazines/articles and writing down your thoughts or some notes about what you read or just a simple diary will help a lot too. Good luck!