Commonly confused words 4

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Learn more vocabulary and their uses. Excellent for students and adult learners of English.

Text of Commonly confused words 4

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2. grisly and grizzly Grisly means 'horrible'. Grizzly is a bear from North America. The words 'grisly' and 'grizzly' sound similar, but their meanings are quite different. Grisly The adjective 'grisly' means 'horrible', 'shockingly repellent', 'terrifying' or 'gruesome'. Examples: In the grisly climax to the South Park episode, the kids try to rescue Chef, but he falls off a bridge into a ravine, where he is impaled on a tree trunk and mauled by wild animals. A convicted killer was today found guilty of a second murder, betrayed by his grisly habit of cutting off his victims' breasts. The police spokesman told the reporters that they had uncovered some grisly clues in the missing-girl case. 3. Grizzly The words 'grizzly' (used as a noun or adjective) refers to a powerful brownish-yellow bear found in the uplands of western North America. It can be called either a 'grizzly' (plural: grizzlies) or a 'grizzly bear'. Avoid grizzly bears. If you get caught off guard by a grizzly, and it decides to attack you, shoot it in the heart. If you do not have a gun and you cannot get away, tuck into a tight ball or play dead. However, if the grizzly is intent on you being its next meal, fight back with everything you've got. Pictures of grizzly bears amusing themselves in the river make them seem cute and innocent, but they are extremely dangerous. Many Forest Service employees have laid their jobs on the line to prevent the destruction and fragmentation of the prime habitat for grisly bears. (should be grizzly) Examples: 4. avoid grizzly bears or admire from a distance OTHER SIMILAR WORDS 'Grizzled' means 'having gray hairs'. 'Gristly' means 'full of gristle' (usually when referring to meat). 5. This is a :grizzly Grizzled This beef jerky is not :grizzled Select the correct version: actor. grisly / gristly / Grizzly / 6. its and it's It's is short for it is or it has. Its is the possessive form of it. There is often confusion between its and it's. If you delve deeper into this issue, you will see that there is good reason for the confusion. However, if you just want to know what is right, the matter is very simple: It's It's is short for it is or it has. This is a 100% rule. It cannot be used for anything else. If you cannot expand it's to it is or it has, then it is wrong. Its Its is like his and her. His is used for masculine things. (These are his pies.) Her is used for feminine things. (These are her flowers.) Its is used for neuter things. (These are its footprints.) 7. Examples: It's been raining for a week, and now it's starting to snow. (It has been is starting to snow) It's one of the hardest courses in it's history. (The first it's is correct. The second should be its.) I think the company wants to have its cake and eat it. (its - possessive form. This is correct.) The reef shark chases it's prey through the coral. (should be its, i.e., the possessive form. You cannot expand this to it is or it has.) I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's so hard to find your way around Chinatown. (Woody Allen) A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. (Winston Churchill) 8. There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about. (Oscar Wilde) Whenever cannibals are on the brink of starvation, Heaven, in its infinite mercy, sends them a fat missionary. (Oscar Wilde) Constant company wears out its welcome. A frog can't empty its stomach by vomiting. To empty its stomach contents, a frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again. A completely blind chameleon will still take on the colours (colors ) of its environment. 9. NEVER EVER WRITE IT'S (THE EASIEST WAY TO GET IT RIGHT) Never write it's. Instead of writing it's, write the full version (i.e., it is or it has). If you cannot (because your sentence does not make sense), then use its. POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES The words his, hers and its are known as possessive adjectives. There are no apostrophes in any possessive adjectives. This is another 100% rule. 10. As covered here, apostrophes are used to show possession. For example, the possessive form of dog is dog's (as in the dog's teeth). Therefore, somewhat understandably, many think that the possessive form of it should be it's. It seems to fit the pattern. To make matters worse, there is some evidence that the possessive form of it used to be it's. The word it's is used erroneously (by today's conventions) throughout the American Constitution. Many, including some very prominent companies, still get this wrong. An it's error by the Co-operative Bank is discussed in Grammar Monster's grammar court. THE CONFUSION 11. Well, got to be true. the best evidence yet that the Moon landing was a hoax. a ridiculous thought - of course they landed on the Moon. The ghost of Kneller Hall? a true story, I tell you. No one has ever seen body, but last Tuesday one man heard wailing voice all night long. Looking at the weather, I think the right time for the company to release summer campaign - before too late. its it's / It's / it's / itsit's / it's / its it's / its it's / its It's / Its Select the correct version: it's / its Its its 12. lead and led 'Lead' (rhymes with bead) is associated with being in charge or being in front. The past tense of the verb 'to lead' is led. Confusion arises because 'lead' (a soft toxic metal) is pronounced 'led'. There is often confusion over the words 'lead' (rhymes with bead) and 'led'. Lead 'Lead' can be an adjective, noun or verb: Lead that rhymes with bead is associated with being in charge or being in front. Lead the team back to the tents. (lead as a verb) You can take your dog off the lead. (lead as a noun) Keep this pace up. You are in the lead. (lead as a noun) You have been selected to be the lead tenor. (lead as an adjective) 13. Lead that rhymes with bed is a soft heavy toxic metallic element. (It is a noun.) In the UK, it is illegal to use lead for weights in fresh-water fishing. (lead as a noun) Someone has stolen the lead off the church roof again. (lead as a noun) lead ore 14. Led The word 'led' is the past tense and the past participle of the verb 'to lead' (rhymes with bead). He led the cavalry over the hill. (This is the verb to lead in the past tense.) He has led the cavalry over the hill. (The word led is a past participle in this example.) Examples: 15. LEAD The confusion arises because the noun 'lead' (rhymes with bed) is spelt identically to the verb 'lead'. (The noun 'lead' is of course the name of a soft heavy toxic metallic element.) As a consequence, some writers use 'lead' when they mean 'led'. To add to the confusion, 'lead' (rhymes with bead) also exists as a noun. A dog's lead, for example. Therefore, you have to rely on context. Take the lead. (Without context, it is impossible to know whether 'lead' in this example rhymes with bead or bed.) 16. The trail of destruction has straight to the culprits front door. Tony the group yesterday. It was his greed that to his downfall. Will you , John? He has two teams up Everest. His ambition him down an unsavoury path. She has the party faithfully for six months. lead /led lead /led lead /led lead /led lead /led lead /led lead /led Select the correct version: 17. licence and license UK convention: Licence is a noun. To license is a verb. US convention: Use license for both. Licence and License There is often confusion over the words 'licence' and 'license'. In order to understand which to use, you must know the difference between a noun and a verb. This is because 'licence' is a noun; whereas, 'license' is a verb. However, there are tricks to get around this. 18. Examples: This restaurant is licensed to sell alcohol. (licensed - from the verb) ("This restaurant is allowed to sell alcohol" < sounds ok; licensed is correct) Can I see your driving licence please? ('licence' - noun) ("Can I see your driving card/papers?" < sounds ok; licence is correct) "licensed" (correct version - from the verb 'to license') (sign outside a public house) I am unable to give you a license because of your history. (" give you an allow/allowing/allowed..." < nonsense; license is wrong.) (" give you a card/allowance/papers..." < sounds ok; should be licence) This is not worth losing your licence over. 19. A LITTLE TRICK TO SPOT LICENCE Try using the word 'card' (or 'papers') instead of 'licence'. If the sentence still makes sense, then 'licence' is almost certainly correct. (This trick works because 'licence' is a noun, just like the words 'card' and 'papers'.) A LITTLE TRICK TO SPOT LICENSE Try using the verb 'to allow' (in its various forms; e.g., allowing, allowed, allows) instead of 'license'. If the sentence still makes sense, then 'license' is almost certainly correct. However, if you find yourself using 'allowance' then you should be using 'licence', because both are nouns. (This trick works because 'to license' is a verb, just like 'to allow'.) NO CONFUSION There should be no confusion with licensing or licensed. The endings ing and ed mean these are always from the verb; i.e. there are no such words as licencing or licenced in British or American English. LICENSE IN AMERICA In American English, 'license' is both noun and verb. 20. She was only 15 when she got her pilot's . Every house with a television requires a TV . Do you have the authority to me to hunt? James Bond is to kill. Who issues those to kill? Can you show me your driving ? licenced / licensed licences / licenses licence /license licence /license licence /license licence /license Select the correct version (using UK convention): 21. Anglers fishing this water are to be in possession of their rod . How many point