COMMONLY MISUNDERSTOOD WORDS AND PHRASES

Topics: Verb, Transitive verb, Subject Pages: 8 (1187 words) Published: April 21, 2015
“COMMONLY MISUNDERSTOOD WORDS AND PHRASES”
"Affect" and "Effect"
1.EFFECT
● "Effect" is a noun referring to something that happens as a result of something else. E.g., "The antibiotic had little effect on the illness." ● "Effect" is also a verb meaning to bring something about. E.g., "I have decided to effect a change in the scope of this article."

2.AFFECT
● The verb "affect" means to change something in some way. E.g., "His steady gaze affected my ability to breathe."
● The noun "affect" is used fairly rarely. It refers to a display of an inner state of mind. E.g., "Her affect is subdued this evening."

"Anxious" and "Eager"
1.ANXIOUS
○ When followed by a gerund (the "–ing" verb form), anxiousness refers to anxiety, not pleasant feelings such as enthusiasm or excitement. ■ Ex. “He was anxious about becoming the President." (He had an uncomfortable feeling about it.)

○ When followed with an infinitive ("to" and the verb), anxiousness refers to eager desire.
■ Ex. “He was anxious to become the President."

2.EAGER
○ Eagerness conveys enthusiasm and is followed with an infinitive. ○ Ex. “He was eager to become the President." (He was happy about it.)

"Convince" and "Persuade"
1. CONVINCE
○ Convince a person of the truth or validity of an idea.
○ Follow “convince” with "that" or "of."
○ Ex. "The teacher convinced her students that good grammar could aid in communication."

2.PERSUADE
○ Persuade a person to take action.
○ Follow "persuade" with an infinitive (“to” and the verb). ○ Ex. "The teacher persuaded her students to use good grammar."

"Could of" and "Could have"
1. Use “could” with “have.” In fact, all modals ("could," "would," "should," "may," "might," "must") use the auxiliary verb "have."
○ “Have” can be contracted as "'ve" (as in "could've" and "couldn't've"). ○ Correct: "She could have (or "could've") done it."
2. Do not use “could” with “of.”
○ The same applies to all other modals.
○ Incorrect: "She could of done it."

"Decimate" and "Devastate"
1. DECIMATE
○ Decimation describes the wiping out of humans. In ancient Rome, “decimate” literally meant "kill one of every ten soldiers." ■ Ex. “The 2010 tsunami in Japan decimated cities and towns along the coast.”

○ Using creative license, you would also be correct in saying something like:
■ “The flu decimated Larry's sixth grade class.” (Everyone will understand that more/less than ten percent were affected and nobody actually died.)
○ Remember that "decimate" is similar to "decimal," which refers to counting by tens.
2.DEVASTATE
○ Devastate means "lay waste to."
■ Ex. “Natural disasters can devastate a region’s buildings, forests, and landscapes.”
○ Devastate also means “overwhelm with negative emotions.” ■ Ex. “A nasty breakup can devastate an individual.”

Each Other" and "One Another"
1. “Each other”
○ “Each other” refers to two.
○ Ex. "The two brothers helped each other study."

2. “One another”
○ "One another" is used for three or more.

○ Ex. "These five businesses compete with one another."

E.g." and "I.e."
1. Use “e.g.”
○ "E.g." (exemplī grātiā) means "for example" or "such as." ○ Remember the "e" in "for example."
○ Ex. “Many photo manipulation programs (e.g. Photoshop, GIMP) have nearly identical functions.”

2. Use “i.e.”
○ "I.e." (id est) means "that is" or "in other words."
○ Remember the "i" in "in other words."
○ Ex. “They recommend that we ‘demonstrate our continued loyalty through pecuniary means’ (i.e. send more money).”

"Lay" and "Lie"
1. “Lay”
○ Lay means "put" or "place." It is a transitive verb, meaning it needs a subject and an object (i.e. subject + “lay” + object).
○ Ex. “She lays bricks for a living.”
○ Ex. “Chickens lay eggs.” (Associating laying with eggs may help you remember its correct usage.)

2. "Lie”
○ Lie means "rest." It is an intransitive verb and only needs a subject. ○ It’s often with prepositions such as "on" or adverbs such as "here." ○ Ex. “I...
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