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This presentation is brought to you by chomp! Grammar Bytes!, ©2014 chomp! by Robin L. Simmons.

Confused and Misused Wor ds and Phrases

Dude, the


word is affect, with an a.

No, you’re wrong. The word should be effect, with an e.

advises, with an s, not a c.

Dude, that’s

This presentation advices you on words or phrases that are commonly misused or confused.

On an objective test, an item evaluating the skill might look like this . . .

Sample Item
My friends ate at Tito’s Taco Palace, so they they’ ’re re A hoping that their their lunch lunch stays stays down, down, for for their theirare there are are B C rumors that health inspectors cited the filthy kitchen.

A.their B.they’re C.there C.there D.No change is necessary.

At C, you need Is the word there, the confused or expletive, or misused at A, placeholder, B, or C? form.

Re c o g n i ze m i s s p e l l e d / c o r r e c t l y s p e l l e d wo r d s a n d p h r a s e s .

Alright Alot Rite Should of Suppose to


● ● ● ● ●

All right A lot Right, write Should have Supposed to





Re c o g n i ze t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s a m o n g r e l at e d wo r d s .
3 or more; Among my friends Noncount; Amount of butter Adjective; A good essay Evident, unambiguous

 Among ● Between  2 only;  Amount ● Number   Good ● Well   Explicit ● Implicit 
Know these Count;

Fred and me

Number of
Adverb; He writes well. Implied, ambiguous


K n ow t h e d i f fe r e n c e t h at a s i n g l e n e w l e t t e r c a n m a ke .
Before a word beginning with a consonant [sound] Before A thought or conception To suffer the deprivation of Verb; past tense of

 A ● An   Already ● All ready   Idea ● Ideal   Lose ● Loose   Were ● Where 

Before a word beginning with a vowel [sound] Completely prepared The concept of something perfect Free from restraint A place


More to

K n ow t h e d i f fe r e n c e t h at a n a postr ophe c a n m a ke .
Possessive pronoun; belonging to it Possessive pronoun; belonging to

 Its ● It’s   Whose ● Who’s 

Contraction for it is or it has Contraction for who is or


who has

Possessive pronoun; belonging to

 Your ● You’re 

Contraction for

you are

Contractions do contain an apostrophe.

Possessive pronouns never contain an apostrophe.

K n ow t h e d i f fe r e n c e a change t o a s i n g l e l e t t e r c a n m a ke .
Noun form

 Advice ● Advise 

Verb form

Usually a verb
City, wealth, important To quote Rough

 Affect ● Effect 
 Capital ● Capitol   Cite ● Site   Coarse ● Course 
 Compliment ● Complement 

Usually a noun
The building for lawmaking A location Path, route

Put in place Unchanging Indicates comparison

Goes well with
Be seated Paper Next

 Set ● Sit   Stationary ● Stationery   Than ● Then  Why is English so complicated?

Don’t let these homonyms [ s o u n d a l i ke wo r d s ] c o n f u s e yo u .
Agree to or receive Plural present of the verb be Past tense of pass

 Accept ● Except   Are ● Our   Passed ● Past 

Leave out Possessive pronoun; belonging to us Gone, by

Go before

 Precede ● Proceed 
 Right ● Write   Sense ● Since   Sight ● Site   Threw ● Through   Weather ● Whether 

Carry on

Chief [person], main  Principal ● Principle  Truth or rule
Correct, a just claim, a direction Sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste View, glimpse Past tense of throw State of the atmosphere Make letters with an instrument Adverb, conjunction, or preposition A location Beyond Introduces an alternative

My brain is getting


dude, we’re


To, Too, Two
• Use to as a preposition.
Jonathan drove to the seafood shop.

• Use to to begin an infinitive.
He hoped to buy fresh squid.

• Use too to show degree.
The squid was too expensive to purchase. • Use too as a synonym for also. So too was the fresh octopus. • Use two when you mean the number. Jonathan bought two flounder filets instead.

T here, T heir, T hey ’ re
• Use there as an expletive, a placeholder to delay the subject.
There is a turtle in the road.

• Use there to indicate place.
Across the road is a lake. The turtle hopes to get there before a car hits him.

• Use their as a possessive pronoun.
Most drivers don’t see the turtle; their eyes are glued to their cell phones. • Use they’re as a contraction for they are. They’re also distracted by other devices, like the radio and navigation system.

At many objective exams, you c a n not use a dictionar y!


W hen in doubt, rely on “ gut ” feelings.
Your eyes have seen in print — and your brain has registered — all of the possible words that you will encounter for this skill. If you don’t recognize the right answer, go with the one that feels right.

Hey, I’ve seen that word


Quick Test
Directions: In the items that follow, choose the option that corrects an error in the underlined portion(s). If no error exists, choose “No change is necessary.”


Let’s see what you can do!

Item 1
Even though we warned Jake not to eat a hole hole whole A A pie at one sitting, he sat sat at at the the kitchen kitchen table table and and B proceeded to proceeded toconsume consumeslice sliceafter afterslice. slice. C A.whole A.whole B.set C.preceded D.No change is necessary.

Item 2
Give Jerrod a compliment compliment because because his his shoe shoe A laces complement complementthe thecolors colorsin inhis hisplaid plaidshirt. shirt. B His fashion since since is sense is is gradually gradually gradually improving. improving. improving. C C A.complement B.compliment C.sense C.sense D.No change is necessary.

Item 3
If you go by by the the supermarket, supermarket, buy buya apackage packageof of A B hotdog buns. Than Than we Then we can can grill grill the the sausage sausage for for C dinner. C.Then C.Then D.No change is necessary.

Item 4
Heed my advice, advice, and and don don ’ ’ tt loose loose lose your your your receipt. receipt. receipt. A BB The college bookstore will not accept accept any any excuse excuse C if you need to return those books.
A.advise B.lose B.lose C.except D.No change is necessary.

Item 5
The heard heard herd of of of gazelle gazelle gazelle leaped leaped leaped through through through the the air air as as A A BB the animals tried to elude elude the the cheetah. cheetah. C
A.herd A.herd B.threw C.allude D.No change is necessary.

Item 6
Maybe Gerald Gerald is is caught caught in in traffic, traffic, or or he he maybe maybe may be A B B flirting with the cute cafeteria cashier. Either way,

don’t accept accept any any excuse excuse for for his his tardiness. tardiness. C
A.May be B.may be B.may be C.except D.No change is necessary.

Item 7
When there there are are fewer fewerstudents studentsin ina aclass, class,the the A B professor has less less worries fewer worries worries that that that everyone everyone everyone is isis C C getting individual attention. A. B. C. D. their less fewer fewer No change is necessary.

Item 8
We were successful baking 300 cupcakes for We were successful baking 300 cupcakes for A the charity event, but today we’re exhausted the charity event, but today we’re exhausted after after B spending all night preparing the desserts. spending all night preparing the desserts. C A.we’re A.we’re B.were B.were C.deserts C.deserts D.No change is necessary. D.No change changeis isnecessary. necessary.

Item 9
Gregory passed passed his his chemistry chemistry final, final, so so now now he he A won’t loose loose lose his his his scholarship. scholarship. scholarship. As As As he he he walked walked walked past past past B CC the diner, he rewarded himself with a milkshake.
A.past B.lose B.lose C.passed D.No change is necessary.

Item 10
Mr. Ramos hopes to except except the accept the bid bid on on the the house. house. A He has agreed to all of the buyer’s conditions except retiling except retiling the the master master bathroom bathroom since sinceitit B C would be too much work.

A.accept A.accept B.accept C.sense D.No change is necessary.

Grammar Bytes!
provides additional handouts and exercises on

commonly confused chomp! words. Go to chomp! !

The End.
Watch where you’re going, fool!