There are some words that are commonly used interchangeably, when in fact they have different meanings. Here are a few of the words that are frequently used incorrectly.
You’re and Your:
The word “you’re” is a contraction for “you are”.
Correct: You’re a good friend. (you are)
The word “your” is used to imply possession or ownership.
Correct: Is this yours? (possession)
Correct: I like your new car.
Sale and Sell:
The word “sale” and “sell” are not interchangeable. Sell is a verb, used to show what the noun (person, place, or thing) in the sentence is doing. “I am going to sell this.”
Sale is most commonly used as a noun, such as in the sentence “There is a big sale at the mall.”
Correct use of both words: “I am going to sell this shirt at a garage sale.”
Too and Two:
The word “two” is the number 2.
Correct: There are two flowers in that vase.
The word “too” usually means “also”.
Correct: I would like to swim, too. (I would like to swim, also.)
Prefixes Such As “Un”, “In”, and “Non”:
Each word has only one correct prefix.
Incorrect: Impleasant, nonpleasant
Incorrect: Inreversible, nonreversible, unreversible
A Lot and Alot:
The words “a lot” are correct. “Alot” is incorrect and there is never an occasion in which it should be used.
Good and Well:
Good is an adjective. Adjectives are used to describe nouns.
Correct: You are a good dog.
Well is an adverb. An adverb is used to describe a verb.
Correct: You are behaving well.
You wouldn’t wear a dirty shirt to a business meeting, so don’t let your writing make you look bad, either.
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