English may not be the most widely spoken language, but it definitely is the most popular one. And because of this, it has undergone many changes over the centuries. People usually get confused with some words. Similar sounding words can especially be puzzling, resulting in English grammar absurdities. Also, when people do not know the meaning of a word or phrase, they can use it incorrectly. Here is a list of some of such words and phrases:
1. Your and You’re
Many people do not know that an apostrophe in English mostly denotes an abbreviation. And this is why they get confused with the usage of both these words. Quite simply put, you’re is used when you have to use ‘you are’. For example: ‘You’re wrong here’ is a correct sentence but ‘You’re shirt is nice’ is not.
2. Lose and Loose
This one can initially confuse even those who are pretty good at English. However, it is easy to understand the difference. Just remember that in ‘lose’, you lose the extra ‘o’ from ‘loose’. Examples to show their difference would be: “They did not want to lose the match” and “These trousers are loose for me”.
3. They’re, There and Their
They’re is an abbreviation for “they are”. Example: They’re thinking of taking part in the tournament.
There signifies a place. Example: The first match of the tournament will be played there.
Their is used to depict that something belongs to a person. Example: Their chances of winning the tournament are quite high.
4. Its and It’s
‘Its’ denotes that something “belongs to it”. It’s is an abbreviation for ‘It is’. Example: It’s strange how the country violated its own constitution in some cases.
5. Dryer and drier
The dryer is a device which ‘dries’ stuff. Example: Using the hair drier made her hair dryer within a couple of minutes.
6. Practice and Practise
This difference can be clearly understood while using British English. In it, practice is used as a noun while practise is used as a verb. Example: He practices law. His son practises the violin.
7. Chose and Choose
Chose is the past tense of Choose. Some people do not realize that changing the tense of a word changes its meaning too. This one is a perfect example of it.
People figuratively go over the moon using the word literally. Simply put: Literally is only used to denote facts. If you say “The magic show literally blew my mind away”, you should be dead by now!
9. I could care less
If someone tells you that they could care less, it means they actually care a lot. This is despite the fact that they probably do not mean it. Many confuse ‘I could not care less’ with this phrase.
All these problems have arisen due to the different dialects of English. Moreover, teenagers are now using more and more of ‘SMS lingo’ to converse. That is why, you can see many people writing ‘bcz’ instead of because in exams. The best way to improve upon these points is to read more and more literature.
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