Confusables 10: contractions

What is the difference between these sentences? …

“Maybe” versus “may be”

This is a source of confusion but it shouldn’t be, because the difference is clear-cut! As usual, I am not going to provide a grammatical analysis. Instead, we’re just going to look at some typical sentences together. Read the sentences… Continue reading →

Confusables 9: “because” vs “because of”

What is the difference between because and because of? To answer the question, we must talk a little about conjunctions and prepositions first. A conjunction /kənˈdʒʌŋkʃn/ is a word like ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’, ‘while’, ‘although’ that joins words, phrases, or… Continue reading →

Indoor or indoors?

The difference between indoor and indoors (or outdoor and outdoors) is very simple. Without getting into grammatical analysis, here are a few examples to help you get a better “feel” for the words: How to use indoor/outdoor: I catch a… Continue reading →

Hope or wish: the ultimate usage-based guide

Learners of English quite often get confused between the words “hope” and “wish”. Here is a usage-based guide with lots of examples to help you learn how to use them correctly and naturally. But before we start, a word of… Continue reading →

Confusables 7: Postpositive Adjectives

Postpositive or postnominal adjectives come immediately after nouns. You will not see much of such adjectives in English as they are used only in some fixed expressions. I will give a few examples and wait for you to add more… Continue reading →

“Every day” or “everyday”?

So which one is correct: every day (two words) or everyday (one word)? The answer is that they can both be correct. It depends on the context…

Confusables 5: disease vs decease

What is the difference between… The two words decease and disease have very different pronunciations. Their meanings differ too. Can you explain the difference with examples? As usual I’ll wait a couple of days before I add my own explanation.

“Full”, “ful”, and “fully”…

This is a common spelling mistake which can be easily avoided if you remember that…

Confusables 4: lie or lay?

What is the difference between… They look very easy, but why do so many people make a mistake when they want to use the verbs lie and lay? So here is today’s question: What is the difference between to lie… Continue reading →

Confusables 3: an “e” at the end can change a lot of things

What is the difference between… There are many words in English that will have a completely different meaning (and naturally pronunciation) if you add an ‘e’ at the end. Words like…

Confusables 2: desert, desert, or dessert?

We have three tricky words this time. Why tricky? Because unlike the previous post, their meanings are not related in any way, and if you don’t pronounce them correctly, the result will be very confusing. I have marked the stressed… Continue reading →

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