Are you Anti or Ante something? Does practice or practise make perfect? And if it all gets too much do you need a glass of Whiskey or Whisky? And would you know the difference?
Below are 35 commonly misused words and some tips to help you get them right next time.
Affect = to have an influence on, e.g. "I was terribly affected by his speech."
Effect = to accomplish, e.g. "I tried to effect a closer relationship with the speaker."
Ante = means before
Anti = means against
Biannual = appearing half-yearly, twice a year
Biennial = happening every two years
Canvas = material
Canvass = (verb) to ask for support or votes, or to discover the opinions of; (noun) a solicitation of opinions, votes etc
Contagious (disease) = one passed on by personal contact
Infectious (disease) = one passed on without personal contact, eg by an airborne virus
Drier = less wet
Dryer = a machine for drying hair or clothes
Farther = for distances: he moved farther away from the fire
Further = additionally: he made a further appeal for help
Forever = means continually (I'm forever getting this wrong)
For ever = until the end of time (I will love you for ever)
Grisly = gruesome, ghastly
Grizzly = greyish; or a grizzly bear
Hanged = is the past tense of hang only when referring to death by this method
Hung = should be used for all other contexts (He hung the pictures in the lounge)
Holey = with holes
Holy = sacred, associated with God
Wholly = completely
Licence = is a noun, meaning an official document or permission
License = is a verb, so without a TV licence you are not properly licensed to watch TV
Loose = not tight
Lose = to mislay, to be defeated
Practice = is a noun (a procedure or custom; to carry something out; repeated improving exercise; the clientele of a dentist, doctor etc.) so, he goes to rugby practice twice a week
Practise = is a verb (to exercise for improvement; to make a habit of; to work at or perform) so, he practises rugby skills twice a week
Principal = head of an institution, leading person in an orchestra, play etc
Principle = moral rule, scientific law. In ‐ and on principle
Stationery = paper, envelopes etc.
Stationary = standing still, not moving
Wet = not dry
Whet = to hone or arouse, e.g. whet a blade, whet one's appetite
Whiskey = Irish or American
Whisky = Scottish and all the rest!
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