Happy Monday, darling!
I just wanted to take 2 minutes of your life and make it better. Make it better, English-wise. Because I kind of live for that!
Here is my Top 10 list of Confusing Words In English. Let me help you to not mix them up anymore. Your life will be so much better, and so will mine because I will have lots more free time because I don’t have to correct/edit/remind you anymore! Maybe I will take up a new hobby. Like doing yoga with goats.
1. Affect/Effect: Affect is a verb. The high prices did not dramatically affect their sales results this year. Effect is a noun. The effect was minimal. You can remember this by thinking of ‘thE Effect’.
2. Breathe/Breath: Breathe is a verb. The doctor told me to breathe deeply. Breath is a noun. Please take a deep breath.
3. Capital/Capitol: Capital can be an uppercase letter, money, or the city where the seat of government is located. Washington, DC is the capital of the United States. Capitol is the building where a legislature meets. There was a riot in the basement of the Capitol building when the President arrived to speak.
4. Compliment/Complement: A compliment is a nice thing to say. He complimented me on the color of my new jacket. To complement means to go along with or complete. My new jacket really complemented the color of my hair.
5. It’s/Its: It’s is short for ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. It’s been raining for over an hour. It’s been a long day without you my friend. Its shows possession. The dog wagged its tail.
6. Stationary/Stationery: Stationary means not moving. The train remained stationary at the station, much to the frustration of the passengers. Stationery is letter-writing materials. He sent her a letter on official government stationery.
7. Who’s/ Whose: Who’s is short for ‘Who is’ – Who’s going to the concert tonight? And whose refers to possession – Whose umbrella is this?
8. Than/Then: Than is used for comparisons. That car is more expensive than the other one we saw. Then is used as a time indication. First we will have dinner, and then we will have some coffee.
9. Dessert/ Desert: Dessert is something sweet at the end of the meal (remember this by thinking of Something Sweet – also double S :)). We had chocolate mousse for dessert. Desert is where sand lives. I would cross the desert barefoot for a good gin and tonic.
10. Lose/Loose: To lose is to misplace something or when something becomes less. He wanted to lose weight. Loose is when something is not tight. His pants became loose when he lost the weight.
I hope this makes your English-learning life a bit less confusing. Print this out and hang it up somewhere for easy reference. Share it with your colleagues who keep mixing these up. Send it to your family members who could use a little English boost this week.
That’s all for now! I will hopefully be seeing you soon on the yoga mat.
Bring a carrot!