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Author Topic: Which words when - list  (Read 26232 times)

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superpsycho

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Which words when - list
« on: 05/26-10:22 »

When you’re writing, most often the story is the thing that’s on your mind. It’s not unusual for your brain to be ahead of your hands by a few words, at least, causing you to even miss words you thought you’d already written. It’s when the writing is done and the proof reading starts, that grammar counts. For those that don’t have English as their primary language, this can be especially difficult. I thought it might be worthwhile to start listing some of the words whose usage, often, isn’t readily apparent, especially for some homophones. I’ll add more as time goes one. Feel free to add any that you feel strongly about. Or feel free to correct me if I got it wrong.

'Affect' versus 'Effect':

'Effect' is said can be used as a noun or verb while 'affect' is primarily used as a verb.

As a verb, effect used to mean “bring about” or  “produce” some change, cause and effect. To cause initial change or in the process of changing.

“The effect of the bad weather was to keep people in doors.”

As a noun it’s a ‘result.’

“The bad weather had the side effect of keeping people in doors.”

Affect is used more often to mean "had the result of influencing” or did "influence".

“The bad weather did affect how people spent their time."


‘Into’ versus ‘in to’:

Into’ means a transformation in location or state of being. While “in to” refers to two separate functions.

In to’ adverb ‘in’ followed by the preposition ‘to’:

“I turned the wallet I found ‘in’. I gave it ‘to’ the police.” Is equivalent to; “I turned the wallet I found in to the police.”

Into’ from one place or thing to another, Remember, you can’t go ‘to’ something you’re already ‘in’:

“The witch turned him into a frog.” “The witch put him into the barrel.” "The witch went into the house."


If there's a multiple choice, it's better to keep it clear.

"She went into the house then towards the bedroom." not "She went in to the bedroom." or "She went in, to the bedroom."

"Than" versus "Then"

Than’ is used when doing a comparison. While ‘then’ is used in referencing time, chronological sequence or consequences.

Than’ used purely when comparing things:
“My wife is better looking than her.” “I prefer pancakes rather than waffles”

Then’ used for issues of time:
“First I’ll sweep the floors then mop them”

Or as a condition:
"If they have all the data then they’ll be able to come to some resolution."



"Weather" versus "Whether"

Weather’ Weather refers to climate, while ‘whether’ offers clarification within a sentence.

Weather’ is a noun referencing climate or temperature:

“The weather is hot and muggy.” “I look forward to some decent weather so we can have a picnic.”

Weathered’ is an adjective referencing a state of something, as if exposed to time and weather.

“That old barn looks well weathered.” “You certainly look like you’ve weathered the years well.”

Whether’ a conjunction providing clarification usually in the form of alternatives or choice:

“Whether or not you like him, the cat stays.” “I don’t know whether there is an alternative?” 


"Two" versus "too" versus “to”

Two’ refers to the number 2, ‘too’ means also or an excessive degree, while ‘to’ implies focus at an object, person or activity.

Two’ refers to the number 2.
“I have two cats.” “It will be two days before we get home.”

Too’ is an adverb meaning ‘also’ or referring to an ‘excessive degree.’
Also - “I like ice cream, too.” “He too, is subject to the rules.”
Excessive degree - “There are too many rules.”  “It’s much too hot in here.”

To’ is a particle, a preposition and an anaphor. It’s generally, a focus at an object, person or activity.

As a particle - “I helped him to plan his day” “We had to laugh at ourselves.”
As a preposition - “She went to work early.” “They had to each speak before the class.”
As an anaphor – “They’re going out but I don’t want to.”

'There' versus 'Their' versus 'They're':

'There' a place --opposite of here--, a state or condition.
As an adverb:
  • Go there now (a place) - He stopped there to tie his shoe (the point of an action) - There he goes (calling attention to an event or moment)
As a pronoun:
  • There is no point (a condition or state of situation) - If you had been there too. (a location)
As an adjective:
  • Ask that girl there (used as identification, as to what girl)
As a noun:
  • I'll point her out but you're own your own from there (state of condition of departure or transition)

'Their' is possessive adjective, plural and singular. Their in lieu of his and hers, his and his, etc or their in lieu of gender, his or her:
  • Their home - Their rights - Their escape (general possessive case)
  • Who left their notebook (indefinite singular in place of his or her)

'They're' is a contraction constructed of 'they are'.

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The Deposed King

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #1 on: 09/07-03:09 »

I have grammar issues that I've had to overcome.  All those look a like words are good things to know but the first thing I learned when I was having grammar troubles is this.

Never ever ever, have the same word repeated in your sentance.  Almost never ever ever have the same word (other than the, is, and, etc) repeated in the same paragraph.

Example:  Before I was a young magical wart hog and before I was a full fledged young adult was a time before the magical waters of illyurdum welled up and infected the local watering hole, Lake Fyri with its magical properties.  Before that I was quite happy as a simple scavenger but then suddenly everything changed.

In addition to all its other problems.  See how I fell in love with 'before' and kept using and over using it to the point a reader is left scratching their head as they're jolted out of the flow?

Beware repeated words.  That's one of the first things you need to learn.


The next is comma use and misuse.  A particularly harsh problem for me.  I tend to sight test what I write.  I can tell if its off or on, because of  the thousands of books I've read but not always how to fix it.  Learning how to deal with your comma's is another basic step.

But remember above all else.  Production, Production, Production.  Having 2000 perfectly written words in your novel, is much worse IMO than having 20,000 haggard looking words down on your word processor file.

Write the crud and then come back to give it the puff later on.  Use the pay it forward method and help others with their manuscripts in any way you can, then whine and beg for them to help you with yours in return!




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Carol_P

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #2 on: 09/07-03:23 »

Getting commas in the right place is one of my biggest issues. It's the one I have no clue about it seem. I do have other issues like repeating words but I can at least see I'm doing it when proofread. Commas I'll spend hours on and still not get it right. 
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The Deposed King

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #3 on: 09/07-03:38 »

Getting commas in the right place is one of my biggest issues. It's the one I have no clue about it seem. I do have other issues like repeating words but I can at least see I'm doing it when proofread. Commas I'll spend hours on and still not get it right.

I have no easy answers.  I'm still learning myself and essentially I cheated.  I got my brother to help, so I could get my books out the door!



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superpsycho

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #4 on: 09/07-18:27 »

Here is something on the subject. Even knowing the rules it's often hard to get it right. However there is a time and a place to worry about grammar, that's when the first pass is done and again on the last pass after all the changes are done. 

Comma usage
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The Deposed King

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #5 on: 09/07-20:10 »

Here is something on the subject. Even knowing the rules it's often hard to get it right. However there is a time and a place to worry about grammar, that's when the first pass is done and again on the last pass after all the changes are done. 

Comma usage

Preach it Super Psycho!


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superpsycho

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #6 on: 09/07-20:50 »

Preach it Super Psycho!


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In a way, it's like a sport. Practice, exercise and building good habits.
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Lois

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #7 on: 09/29-07:33 »

One of my bad habits is creating what I'll call the 'huh' sentence. Often it's because I'll start the sentence with one thought in mind then half way through change the thought slightly and not rewrite the sentence but just try and make it work. So the reader ends up going 'huh' when they read it.

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Maggie

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #8 on: 09/29-23:38 »

One of my bad habits is creating what I'll call the 'huh' sentence. Often it's because I'll start the sentence with one thought in mind then half way through change the thought slightly and not rewrite the sentence but just try and make it work. So the reader ends up going 'huh' when they read it.
I do the same thing. I've ended up with some terrible run on sentences that way.
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superpsycho

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #9 on: 03/27-12:03 »

I added 'There' vs 'Their' vs 'They're'  to the list in case anyone is interested.

I'll continue to add more as I get the chance but since they do take a while to write up, if anyone has a particular homophone or other confusing words they'd like reviewed, just say so and I'll do them sooner rather than later.
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superpsycho

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Re: Which words when - list
« Reply #10 on: 05/03-14:09 »

'Peak' versus 'Peek' versus 'Pique'

'Peak' refers to the top of something, 'peek' is a quick or clandestine look, while 'pique' refers to being irritated or getting someone's attention.     

Peak:
As a noun - The highest point of convergence or height.
   "He planted a flag on the peak of the mountain." "Sam has reached the peak of his career."

As a verb (used with an object) - The act of projecting or reaching a high point.
   "At his current rate, his career will soon peak.

As an adjective - the highest, maximum, prime or optimal level of something: volume, intensity, flow, etc. 
   "The latest machine's peak throughput was still insufficient to meet their needs."


Peek:
As a noun - A quick, limited or secret look.
   "He knew a peek at his competitor's new line would do little to help sales this year."

As a verb - The act of taking a quick, limited or secretive look.
   "As he peaked through the keyhole at his parents wrapping gifts, he couldn't tell which of the presents were his."

Pique: French - to prick or irritate. {Not to be confused with piqué (pĭ-kā), a type of fabric.}
As a noun - A sudden outburst of anger because someone irritates you.
   "The reporter could tell his assertion the City was in decline generated a level of pique, or perhaps even outright hostility, from the Mayor.

As a verb - To excite or arouse interest by provocation (to prick someone's interest).
   "The words used to describe the situation did pique the investigator's interest, since it hinted there might be much they were not saying."


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