Common mistakes in English – Confused words (Part 7)

                   Confusion of parts of speech

555. As and Like

Don’t say: You don’t look as your mother.

√ Say: You don’t look like your mother.

As is a conjunction, and is usually followed by a noun or pronoun in the nominative case.

Like isn’t a conjunction, but an adjective which behaves like a preposition in being followed by a noun or pronoun in the objective case.

556. So and Such

(a) So

Don’t say: It’s such small that you can’t see it.

√ Say: It’s so small that you can’t see it.

(b) Such

Don’t say: I’ve never seen a so large animal before.

√ Say: I’ve never seen such a large animal before.

So is an adverb and must qualify an adjective on another adverb.

Such is an adjective and must qualify a noun.

557. No and Not

(a) No

Don’t say: I’ve not made any mistakes in dictation.

√ Say: I’ve made no mistakes in dictation.

(b) Not

Don’t say: I have made no any mistakes in dictation.

√ Say: I haven’t (= have not) made any mistakes in dictation.

We use no meaning not any, as an adjective to qualify the noun if the noun it already qualified by an adjective like any, much, enough, we must use the adverb not

Note: We only use no as an adverb before a comparative –> I have no more to say.

558. Fool and Foolish

(a) Fool

Don’t say: Anne said to me, ‘You’re fool.’

√ Say: Anne said to me, ‘You’re a fool.’

(b) Foolish

Don’t say: Anne said to me, ‘You’re a foolish.

Say: Anne said to me, ‘You’re foolish.

Fool is a noun, and requires the article when we use it with the verb to be.

Foolish is an adjective, and can’t be used with the article after the verb to be.

Note: A fool or a foolish person doesn’t mean an insane person, but one who acts thoughtlessly. We tend to use silly or stupid instead or foolish in modern usage

559. Misuse of due to as a preposition

Don’t say: William came late due to an accident..

✓ Say: William came late because of an accident.

Don’t use due to as a preposition meaning because of

Due as an adjective here, is used correctly only when it qualifies some noun –> His delay was due to an accident.

560. Misuse of rest as an adjective

Don’t say: I spent the rest day at home.

✓ Say: I spent the rest of the day at home.

Here, rest is a noun, and we can’t use it as an adjective in the meaning of what’s left

561. Misuse of miser as an adjective

Don’t say: Jill loved money; she was miser.

✓ Say: Jill loved money; she was a miser.

Miser is a noun, and we can’t use it as an adjective. The adjective is a miserly –> She was miserly.

562. Misuse of opened as an adjective

Don’t say: I found all the windows opened.

✓ Say: I found all the windows open.

The adjective is open. The past participle is opened –> Somebody has opened all the windows.

563. Misuse of friendly as an adverb

Don’t say: Andrew behaves friendly.

✓ Say: Andrew behaves in a friendly way.

The adverbial form is in a friendly way

Friendly is an adjective a friendly game, to have friendly relations with one’s neighbors, etc

564. Misuse of truth as an adjective

Don’t say: Is it truth that Diana’s very ill?

✓ Say: Is it true that Diana’s very ill?

Truth isn’t an adjective but a noun. The adjective is true, and we use it with no article between it and the verb to be

565. Misuse of plenty as an adjective

Don’t say: Mike had plenty work to do.

✓ Say: Mike had plenty of work to do.

Plenty isn’t an adjective, but a noun meaning a large number or amount. The adjective is plentiful –> Oranges are cheap now because they are plentiful.

566. Misuse of coward as an adjective

Don’t say: She said, ‘You are a coward boy.’

✓ Say: She said, ‘You are a coward.’

Coward (= one without courage) is the noun. The adjective is cowardly

567. Misuse of others as an adjective

Don’t say: The others boys aren’t here.

✓ Say: The other boys aren’t here.

Others isn’t an adjective but a pronoun. The adjective is other (without the s). We can say “The others aren’t here.” omitting the noun boys.

568. Misuse of died for dead

Don’t say: I think his grandfather is died.

✓ Say: I think his grandfather is dead.

Died is the past tense of die. The adjective is dead

569. Misuse of shoot for shot

Don’t say: I had a good shoot at the goal.

✓ Say: I had a good shot at the goal.

Shoot (in football) is the verb. The noun is shot

570. Misuse of it’s for its

Don’t write: The bird was feeding it’s young.

✓ Write: The bird was feeding its young.

The possessive adjective its is correctly written without the apostrophe. So also hers, ours, yours, theirs take no apostrophe.

571. Misuse of hot as a noun

Don’t say. There’s much hot this summer.

✓ Say: It’s very hot this summer.

Hot is an adjective only, and we can’t use it as a noun. The noun is heat.

572. Misuse of pain as a verb

Don’t say: I pain my leg or My leg is paining.

✓ Say: There’s (or I’ve got) a pain in my leg.

We generally use pain as a noun, and precede it by have or feel

573. Misuse of worth as a verb

Don’t say: My bicycle worths £150.

✓ Say: My bicycle is worth £150.

Worth isn’t a verb, but an adjective.

574. Misuse of able as a verb

Don’t say: The poor man doesn’t able to pay.

✓ Say: The poor man isn’t able to pay.

Able is an adjective, and we can’t use it as a verb

575. Misuse of afraid as a verb

Don’t say: John doesn’t afraid of anybody.

✓ Say: John’s not afraid of anybody.

Afraid isn’t a verb but an adjective, and we generally use it with the verb to be

576. Misuse of weight as a verb

Don’t say: Have you weighted the letter?

✓ Say: Have you weighed the letter?

Weight is a noun and we can’t use it as a verb. The verb is weigh (without the t).

577. Misuse of good for well

Don’t say: His goalkeeper plays very good.

✓ Say: His goalkeeper plays very well.

Good is an adjective only, and we can’t use it as an adverb

578. Misuse of adjective for adverb

Don’t say: The little girl sang beautiful.

✓ Say: The little girl sang beautifully.

We use an adverb, and not an adjective to qualify a verb.

Note: After verbs such as took, feel, sound, taste, smell use an adjective instead of an adverb –> Sugar testes sweet (not sweetly)

579. Misuse of after for afterwards, etc.

Don’t say: After we went home for dinner.

✓ Say: Aiterwards we went home for dinner.

After is a preposition and we must use it with an object. Afterwards, then, after that are adverbs of time and we can use them alone.

580. And the two, etc., used for both, etc.

Don’t say: I’ve seen and the two of them.

✓ Say: I’ve seen both of them.

Never say and the two instead of both. Also avoid and the three, four, etc –> all three, four, etc.

531. Misuse of and for also or too

Don’t say: Let me do and the next exercise.

✓ Say: Let’s also do the next exercise.

Or: Let me do the next exercise too.

And is a conjunction, and can only join similar forms of speech –> He came and sat down

We can’t use it instead of the adverbs also and too

582. Misuse of and for even

Don’t say: She doesn’t trust and her friends.

✓ Say: She doesn’t trust even her friends.

And is a conjunction only, and we can’t use it instead of the adverb even

583. Misuse of loose for lose

Don’t say: Be careful not to loose your money.

✓ Say: Be careful not to lose your money.

Loss (with one o) is the common verb meaning not to be able to find

Loose (with double o) is an adjective meaning unfastened, free –> The horse was loose in the field.

584. Misuse of past for passed

Don’t say: I past by your house yesterday.

✓ Say: I passed by your house yesterday.

Past isn’t a verb. The past tense and past participle of the verb to pass is passed.

Note: We can use past as a noun. Don’t think of the past; an adjective –> The past week was warm; a preposition –> We walked past the church; an adverb –> The tram went past.

Common mistakes in English – Confused words (Part 7)
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