Word Bloopers - Language Notes
Word bloopers are words that students, and people in general, usually find problematic. This is because they sound the same
LIE & LAY
Lie means to recline or rest.
- I lie on my bed when I am reading a good book.
- I lay the book on the bed.
RISE & RAISE
Rise means to get up.
- I must rise for the singing of the national Anthem of my country.
Raise means to lift something.
- I raise the flag in the morning.
GOOD & WELL
Good is an adjective that means skillful, it describes a noun (person, place animal or thing)
- eg. Mr. Smith is a good teacher.
- eg. Mr. Smith teaches well.
REAL & VERY
Real means genuine, it describes a noun (person, place, animal or thing).
- eg. Regina has a real Gucci handbag.
- eg. Regina is a very wealthy person.
WHO'S & WHOSE
Who's is the contraction for who is, therefore, an apostrophe replaces the missing word.
- eg. Who's going to return the scissors?
- eg. Whose scissor is on the table?
THEY'RE, THERE & THEIR
They're is the contraction for they are, therefore, an apostrophe replaces the missing word.
- eg. They're going to the kite festival tomorrow.
- eg. The girl is standing over there.
- eg. The girls used their tickets to enter the movie.
TOO & TWO
Too means also/ very/ besides/ excessive.
- eg. Andre sat in the back seat too.
- eg. Sandra speaks to her daughter too harshly.
- eg. She has two siblings.
ALMOST & MOST
Almost means nearly.
- eg. The student almost got an A.
- eg. Most of the students got an A in the test.
INTO & IN
Into is a preposition that shows movement from outside to inside.
- eg. Kamla and Andre went into the car.
- eg. Kamla and Andre are in the car.
BESIDE & BESIDES
Beside means at the side of, or next to.
- eg. Kamla sat beside me in the car.
- eg. Besides Kamla, Pam also sat beside me in the car.
BETWEEN & AMONG
Between is used when two people and/ or two things are being discussed.
- I sat between Kamla and Andre in the car.
- I went among the throng of fans at the concert.
IT'S & ITS
It's is the contraction for it is, therefore, an apostrophe replaces the missing word.
- eg. It's inappropriate to steal office supplies.
- eg. Its staff, Macy's, do not steal office supplies.
THEN & THAN
Then means 'at that time.'
- eg. We ate lunch and then watched a movie.
- eg. This movie is better than the one that we saw last week.
SURE & SURELY
Sure means to be positive, or certain.
- eg. They were sure that they wanted to take the trip.
- eg. Shaun is surely a good driver.
Contributor: Leisa Samuels-Thomas
Cox N, Pettegrew B, McBain R. Grammar and Composition bk.1. Columbus, Ohio: SRA / McGraw-Hill
Schachter, N, Schneiter Williams K. Basic English Review: English the Easy Way. (8th ed.) United States: Thompson South-Western, 2005.