Common Errors Ch. 01byvelvetpie©
Errors occur every day in the manner in which words are used. Let’s talk about some of the most common.
THEY’RE / THEIR / THEREB
THEY’RE is a contraction, a combination of two words. In this case, the two words are THEY and ARE, a pronoun and a verb. They’re going to the ball game tonight.
THEIR is a pronoun that shows possession. That woman is their mother.
THERE is a word that indicates a place. I live right there.
AFFECT / EFFECT
AFFECT is a verb and describes something has an influence on something else. Her choice of color affected anyone who wanted to hire her as a designer.
There is also another meaning for it, which is less
EFFECT can be both a noun and a verb. As a noun, an example of its use is this: The effect of the colors she used had on everyone was terrible. When used as a verb: By using the colors, she was hoping to effect a change in the way designers worked.
TO / TOO / TWO
TO is a word that is classified as a preposition and generally indicates some kind of motion. I gave the cigarette to him or I’m going to the store are good examples of the proper use of the word.
TOO is another word that means also or in excess of. I, too, want to go to the store or I love her too much.
TWO is a word that stands for a number. There are two ducks in the pond.
LAY / LIE
LAY is a verb that describes an action and must have an item to which the action is being done to. A good way to think of this verb is that an item is being put down. Other forms of the verb are LAID, HAVE LAID, ARE LAYING and WILL LAY. Some examples are: I have laid the keys on the table or He lays his life on the line every day.
LIE is a verb that also describes an action but it doesn’t require an item to be used with it. A good way to think of this verb is that it generally is used meaning to recline. Other forms of the verb are LAY, HAVE LAIN, ARE LYING and WILL LIE. Some examples are: He lay back on the bed or I am lying on the couch right now.
COMPLEMENT / COMPLIMENT
COMPLEMENT is a verb that usually means match, as in The green in the dress complemented the green in her eyes or Her street smarts complement his book smarts.
COMPLIMENT is a noun or verb that means kind words that is given to someone. Some examples are: I complimented the chef on his use of apricots or Her compliments made him feel good.
QUEUE / CUE
QUEUE is a noun or a verb that means a line, as in one that you stand in, or the action of standing in a line. Some examples are: We queued up for concert tickets or I froze my ass off while standing in the queue.
CUE is a noun or a verb that means a specific action or the action of receiving that specific action. Some examples are: When I gave the cue, everyone sang, “Happy Birthday!” or I cued up the song so that it would be ready after the speech. Please also know that the white ball used in billiards is known as the ‘CUE’ ball.
ACCEPT / EXCEPT
ACCEPT is a noun or a verb that means to get or receive something. Some examples are: I will accept the nomination or He accepted the fact that his life was ruined.
EXCEPT is a preposition or a verb that means to exclude. Some examples are: I want all of the tomatoes except the green ones or She was excepted from the rest of the group.
DYEING / DYING
DYEING is a noun or a verb that means to add color to something. A few examples: The dyeing of the eggs is our favorite thing to do during Easter or She is dyeing my pants to match the shirt.
DYING is a noun or a verb that means to be nearing death or feeling as if a person or thing is nearing death. Some examples: When she told him she was cheating, he felt like he was dying or His dying on the bed made her not want to sleep on it. The last example sounds very clumsy and though I have seen it used, I don’t think I would use it.