Saturday, March 9, 2019

6 Confusing Words to Master



Confusing words, Tess's Tips


Learning to master confusing words is an essential skill for all writers. If students learn to use them correctly, it will help them throughout their adult lives.


Dying – means that a living being is no longer alive. Dying is the present participle of the verb die. Examples: I am just dying to see your new car. The poor man is dying of a horrible disease.


Dyeing - means to change the color of something by using a dye.
Examples:  Mother is dyeing her hair brown to hide the gray hairs. Jane is dyeing her shoes to match her dress.


Weather – means changes in the atmospheric condition. Examples: We need to check the weather before we set sail. The weather is warm and dry today.

Whether – is used to indicate possibilities or choices.
Example: He was not sure whether or not to eat sushi.


Whether - also means if something is or was true.
Example: Will you find out whether or not they want to go with us to the movie?
HINT: When choosing between weather and whether, be sure to pronounce the “h” in whether. If you are talking about clouds, rain, and such, choose weather. There is no “h” sound in weather.


Advice – is a noun that means an opinion or suggestion that one gives to another.
Advise – is a verb that means to give an opinion or suggestion.


HINT: Try substituting the word feedback into the sentence. If it makes sense, choose the noun advice.
Example A: I need your (advice, advise) on how long my speech should be.
I need your (feedback) on how long my speech should be.
Since you could substitute the word feedback in this sentence, choose advice.


Example B:  You need to (advice, advise) me on how long my speech should be.
You need to (feedback) me on how long my speech should be.
Since you could not substitute the word feedback in this sentence, choose advise.


Click here for a free lesson and exercise on correctly using these 6 confusing words.


Be sure to visit my store for more free lessons and take a look at my Simple Steps to Sentence Sense books. Help your students learn grammar and usage the easy way.


This article is an update from an earlier post.


Thanks for reading,

Charlene Tess author of  Simple Steps to Sentence Sense



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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How to Choose Between Eager or Anxious




Before choosing between the words "eager" and "anxious," decide exactly what you mean to say. 


“Eager” means excited, interested, or impatient.
“Anxious” means afraid or nervous about what may happen.


Note the correct words in the sentences below:
Jane felt (eager, anxious) about the math test because she had not studied for it.
The bride and groom were (eager, anxious) to say their vows.


Now you try it:
The puppy was (eager, anxious) to please his master.
The patient was (eager, anxious) to hear the doctor’s report.


These words are often used interchangeably, but they should not be. They are not the same. Take the time to say what you really mean.


Visit my TpT store for more helpful tips and lessons.


Here's a bundle of task cards to help your students master more confusing words. You will find them here.

Confusing Words Task Cards Bundle 1


This post is an update from a previous post.


Thanks for reading,






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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Be My Valentine Treats




Happy New Year



First, I would like to wish all of you a very happy 2019. I hope your plans, hopes, and dreams all happen just as you wish.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and not everyone has a significant other. This is especially true of young students. Making cards that imply a romantic message sometimes does not appeal; however, almost everyone has a good friend or a relative they admire.

The days before Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity for students to write a friendly letter or thank you note to someone they appreciate.

Even in the era of texts and IM’s, the lost art of a handwritten note or letter is something they will need to learn how to do.

After modeling a well written friendly letter and thank you note, I would have each student write one of his/her own. I would visit the Dollar Store to find appropriate sheets of stationery and give one to each student on which he/she would write a final draft.

The emphasis, of course, was on friendship and/or admiration and not romantic love. My students loved the idea, and the project was very successful.

If you want to skip the trip to the store, you can download a sheet of Valentine’s Day stationery here and print it.

Some students have a problem with writing run-on sentences. It is hard to avoid them, when they don't really understand what they are. 

This is a free resource I created to help students practice avoiding run-ons in their writing. All the sentences in the exercise are associated with Valentine's Day. Get yours here.


A freebie for Valentine's Day Correcting Run-on Sentences

Thanks for reading,


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