20 Most Tricky English Words
Many times, the words that sound right are actually wrong. With words such as those listed below, you just have to memorize the rules so that when you are about to use them, you’ll catch yourself in the act and you will be certain that you have written or just said the right one.
Except means exclusion, that sth is not included: “I can attend every meeting except the one next week”.
Affect means to influence something or someone; effect means to accomplish something. “Your job was affected by the organizational restructuring” but “These changes will be effected on Monday.”
As a noun, an effect is the result of something: “The accident had a huge effect on her life.” It’s almost always the right choice because the noun affect refers to an emotional state and is rarely used outside of psychological circles
Lie is something you can do by yourself, but you need an object to lay , for instance: ” A bricklayer lays bricks”.
It becomes more tricky in the past tense. The past tense of lie is—you guessed it—lay: “I lay down earlier last night.” And the past tense of lay is laid: “She laid the baby on the bed.”
Just remember – if the movement is toward you, use bring; if the movement is away from you, use take.
To infer means to to guess that something is true because of the information that you have from what someone else implies. ” I inferred from the number of cups that he was expecting visitors”. As a general rule, the speaker/writer implies, and the listener/reader infers.
Nauseous means causing nausea; you feel like you might vomit, and if something is nauseous, it makes you want to vomit,
wheareas nauseated means experiencing nausea, “He didn’t become nauseated by the treatments at all.
Comprise means to include particular parts or numbers; compose means to make up. When using comprise, you put the whole first: “A soccer game comprises (includes) two halves.” When using compose, you put the pieces first: “Fifty states compose (make up) the United States of America.”
10. Fewer vs. Less
use less when referring to a whole:
“You have fewer dollars, but less money.”