The English language contain many words in verb or noun form that are confusing and are easily interchanged with each other. Improper use of words can reduce the overall quality of your written document.
Listed below are some common errors that you can avoid when writing any document:
- Advise versus Advice
Both these similar-sounding words imply the same meaning. While “Advise” is to be used as a verb in any sentence (example, “Please advise me regarding this matter.”), “Advice” is the noun form (example, “Her advice was very useful.”).
- Practice versus Practise
Similar to the above example, these words too have similar meanings. While “practise” is the verb form (example, “Practise your music lessons.”), the word “practice” is used in noun form (example, “Her legal practice is doing great.”).
- Complement versus Compliment
Though sounding similar, these two words have completely different meanings. “Complement” is the noun that means “to complete” or “to perfect” (example, “Floral curtains can complement your modern bedroom style.”). “Compliment” is the verb that is used to praise or flatter oneself or another person (example, “My teacher complimented me on my good grades.”).
- Affect versus Effect
These two words with similar meanings is another common source of error. While “Affect” is to be used as the verb in any sentence (example, “Your decision will affect my life.”), “Effect” is the noun form (example, “The effect of her decision was devastating.”).
- Accept versus Except
Though not noun and verb, these 2 words are a source of confusion to most writers. “Accept” is to be used as a verb in any sentence (example, “Please accept my apologies.”). “Except” is used as a conjunction in any sentence (example, “Everyone, except George, went to the fair.”).
- Breath versus Breathe
Another set of noun and verb with the same meaning. “Breath” is the noun form, referring to the inhaled air (example, “His breath was smelling fresh.”). “Breathe” is the verb form, referring to the action of inhaling air (example, “You can breathe in some fresh air here.”).
- Desert versus Dessert
These two words, though meaning completely different, causes confusion because of their similar spelling. “Desert” is the verb in this combination, meaning “to abandon somebody” (example, “He deserted me in the middle of nowhere.”). “Dessert” is the noun meaning, “a sweet dish” (example, “She served us some fresh dessert after dinner.”).