Friday, May 28, 2004


A lot is two words not one (alot). This is a mistake that students make a lot.

And and To. Informal: Be sure and study for the test. Formal: Be sure to study for the test. It is better to use "to" than "and."

Anyway and Anyways. Anyways is not a word.

Bring and Take. Bring shows a movement toward the speaker. Bring the book to me. Take shows movement away from the speaker. Take the book to the library.

Different from and Different than. Use "different from" when comparing two things. Your shoes are different from mine. Use "different than" when a clause follows. This movie is different than I thought it would be.

Foot and Feet. Wrong: The man is six foot tall. Right: The man is six feet tall. It is correct to use "feet" in compound adjectives. I need four 10-foot boards. Four 10-foot is a compound adjective.

Have and Of. Correct: If he would have listened to me . . . Incorrect: If he would of listened to me. Usually "have" is used instead of "of."

In and Into. In indictates where something is right now. The book is in the house. Into implies movement from one place to another. Go into the house (which means go from the outside of the house into the house).

Like and That. Like is used for comparisons and it is not a conjunction. Wrong: I feel like you should give me a raise. Right: I feel that you should give me a raise.

Myself and Me. Never use "myself" when you can use either "me" or "I." Wrong: Tom and myself were invited to the part. Right: Tom and I were invited to the party.

Which and That. Which is the first word of a phrase that is not essential. The bike, which was red and blue, was stolen. The message here is that the bike was stolen, and the red and blue part is not really essential to the meaning.

If you can insert the words "by the way" and the sentence makes sense, then use "which."
The bike, by the way it was red and blue, was stolen.

That is the first word of a phrase or a clause that is essential for the sentence to make sense. The bike that I want for my birthday is a 10-speed mountain bike.


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