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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  1. Yes! It is so important for students to master these confusing words. I've read some really "interesting" sentences over my time. Thank you! Jen :)

  2. Misspelled words or words used incorrectly is such a pet peeve of mine! Thanks for the reminders :)