No matter if you are a beginner or advanced English learner – or even a native English speaker – there are so many words that sound the same but are completely different. While many students learn by listening, you may just find that the word you thought you heard is completely different from what is actually being said. That is why we have compiled some of the most commonly misused words in English, so that you’ll be able to show your English competency without flaw:
– Then, Than
This one is a difficult and commonly misused word in English since it is pronounced with minor distinction. Than is used to make a comparison. Then is used to denote time.
She went to the store, and then she walked all the way home.
He loves chocolate more than Sussie.
– To, Too, Two
Now all three words sound and are pronounced exactly the same with no distinction except for context. To is used as a preposition, two refers to the number, and too is an adverb meaning also or in addition.
She has two eggs on her plate for breakfast. (number)
She went with her class on a field trip too. (also)
She has to go to the store to pick up milk on her way back home. (adverb)
– Your, You’re
When you use an apostrophe, in many cases you are forming a contraction joining two words together. In this case, You’re is joining the words “you” and “are”. When you see the word you’re, think “you are”. If this does not work, chances are that you should use Your. Your is a possessive pronoun that denotes ownership.
You’re going to get sick if you do not wash your hands.
Your dog is so cute!
– Their, There, and They’re
Do you remember what we just covered about contractions? They’re is joining the two words “they” and “are”. So when you see this word, you should replace the sentence with “they are…” Their is a possessive pronoun and tells us to whom it belongs. There is usually referring to where, typically it is a place.
They’re going to dinner with us tonight. (They are going to dinner with us tonight)
Their dog is always walking in the streets without a leash. (Whose dog? Theirs!)
She will meet us there after work. (Where? There!)
These are just a few commonly misused words in English, however we will continue to bring you important examples to help you improve your English. Can you think of some other examples of commonly misused words in English and what tricks you use to remember them? There is no doubt that learning English is difficult to master. The more helpful hits you get and the more dedication and time you take to master your new language, the faster and more successful you’ll be at it!