data - There are several words with Latin or Greek roots whose plural forms ending in A are constantly mistaken for singular ones. See, for instance, criteria and media. “Datum” is so rare now in English that people may assume “data” has no singular form. Many American usage communities, however, use “data” as a singular and some have even gone so far as to invent “datums” as a new plural. This is a case where you need to know the patterns of your context. An engineer or scientist used to writing “the data is” may well find that the editors of a journal or publishing house insist on changing this phrase to “the data are.” Usage is so evenly split in this case that there is no automatic way of determining which is right, but writers addressing an international audience of nonspecialists would probably be safer treating “data” as plural.
The expression logically should be “feats of daring-do” because that’s just what it means: deeds of extreme daring. But through a chain of misunderstandings explained in the Oxford English Dictionary, the standard form evolved with the unusual spelling “derring-do,” and “daring-do” is an error.
damped / dampened - When the vibration of a wheel is reduced it is damped, but when you drive through a puddle your tire is dampened. “Dampened” always has to do with wetting, if only metaphorically: “The announcement that Bob’s parents were staying home after all dampened the spirits of the party-goers.” The parents are being a wet blanket.
damp squid - DAMP SQUIB
Squid are indeed usually damp in their natural environment, but the popular British expression describing a less than spectacular explosion is a “damp squib” (soggy firecracker).
dairy / diary - A common typo that won’t be caught by your spelling checker is swapping “dairy” and “diary.” Butter and cream are dairy products; your journal is your diary.
Rough Around The Edges
Meaning-unpolished, imperfect, or unkempt; somewhat lacking in refinement, sophistication, manners.
Example-This old truck's a little rough around the edges, but it's still the most reliable vehicle I've owned.
On A Lark
Meaning-On a whim or fancy; for fun or as a joke
Example-On a lark, we all decided to ditch our Friday classes and drive to New York City for the weekend.
Keep A Cool Head
Meaning-To stay calm in a difficult situation.
Example-I don't know how you manage to keep such a cool head in such a hectic, stressful office!
It Takes All Kinds
Meaning-the world is made up of many varieties or types of people, so you should not judge people who are different from you.
Example-I don't understand a lot of the decisions Michael makes, but it takes all kinds to make a world, right?
Meet One's Eye
Meaning-To make eye contact with one, typically in a way that is confident or without shame
Example-She couldn't meet my eye because she knew how angry I was with her.
call the question - This is more a matter of parliamentary procedure than of correct English, but people are generally confused about what “calling the question” means. They often suppose that it means simply “let’s vote!” and some even imagine that it is necessary to call for the question before a vote may be taken. You even see deferential meeting chairs pleading, “Would someone like to call for the question?”
But “calling the question” when done properly should be a rare occurrence. If debate has dragged on longer than you feel is really warranted, you can “call the question,” at which time the chair has to immediately ask those assembled to vote to determine whether or not debate should be cut off or continue. The motion to call the question is itself not debatable. If two-thirds of those voting agree that the discussion should have died some time ago, they will support the call. Then, and only then, will the vote be taken on the question itself.
Potentially this parliamentary maneuver would be a great way to shut down windy speakers who insist on prolonging a discussion when a clear consensus has already been arrived at, but since so few people understand what it means, it rarely works as intended.
Chairs: when someone “calls the question,” explain what the phrase means and ask if that is what’s intended. Other folks: you’ll get further most of the time just saying “Let’s vote!”
caddy-corner - CATTY-CORNER, CATER-CORNER, KITTY-CORNER
This expression, meaning “diagonally opposite,” was formed from a misspelling in English of the French word quatre (“four”) prefixed to “corner.” Although the word has nothing to do with cats or kittens, in various dialects all three spellings are acceptable: “catty,” “cater” or “kitty.”
But unless you have somebody holding your golf clubs permanently stationed in the corner of your room, you shouldn’t use the spelling “caddy corner.”
cache / cachet - “Cache” comes from the French verb cacher, meaning “to hide,” and in English is pronounced exactly like the word “cash.” But reporters speaking of a cache (hidden hoard) of weapons or drugs often mispronounce it to sound like cachet—“ca-SHAY” —a word with a very different meaning: originally a seal affixed to a document, now a quality attributed to anything with authority or prestige. Rolex watches have cachet.
cacao / cocoa - Technically speaking, the plant is called a “cacao tree” and the seeds and the chocolate powder made from them are called “cocoa.” These spellings are often swapped, but in contexts where botanical names matter, it’s better to stick with “cacao tree.”
Neither of these should be confused with “coca,” the source of cocaine.
How To Use Shall In English Grammar | Usage of Shall
We don't use 'Shall' very frequently in modern English, particularly in American English.
It is used to make offers and suggestions and to ask for advice.
- What time shall we meet?
- Shall we vote on it now?
- What dress shall I wear?
- Shall I open the window?
You only really need to know that about 'shall' in modern English. Read the rest of this only if you want to know more about how some older speakers still use 'shall'.
Formerly, in older grammar, 'shall' was used as an alternative to 'will' with 'I' and 'we'. Today, 'will' is normally used. When we do use 'shall', it has an idea of a more personal, subjective future.
- I shall go to see the boss and I shall ask him to explain this decision.
Notice that the negative of ' shall ' can be ' shall not ' or ' shan't ' - though the second one is now very rare in American English.
- I don't like these people and I shall not go to their party.
- I shan't object if you go without
Independent Clauses and Dependent Clauses In English Grammar
A clause is a grouping of words in English that contains a subject and a verb. Clauses are the building blocks of sentences. They can be of two types: independent and dependent. It is important for the purpose of sentence formation to be able to recognise independent and dependent clauses.
Independent clauses are clauses that express a complete thought. They can function as sentences. For e.g. 'Ram left to buy supplies' is an independent clause, and if you end it with a full stop, it becomes a sentence.
Dependent clauses, on the other hand, do not express a complete thought and thus cannot function as sentences. For e.g. 'When Ram left to buy supplies' cannot be a sentence because it is an incomplete thought. What happened when Ram went to the shop? Here, 'when' functions as a 'dependent marker word'; this term refers to words which, when added to the beginnings of independent clauses or sentences, transform them into dependent clauses. Other examples of dependent marker words are after , although, as, as if, because, before, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while.
Dependent clauses, thus, need to be combined with independent clauses to form full sentences. For e.g., 'When Ram left to buy supplies, Rohan snuck in and stole the money' is a complete sentence.
Common mistakes In English
Have' and 'has' are both used to denote possession, form the perfect tense, and the past tense of both is 'had', but they are used differently.
1)'Have' is used with
- the following pronouns: I, you, we, they. Examples : 'I have a pencil.' 'We have a big house.'
- pluralised nouns: Example : ' Doctors have a rough time, dealing with illnesses all the time.'
'Has' is used with the third person singular ( he, she, it) . Examples : ' She has your money.' 'Amit has the book.'
2) Many speakers tend to get confused between 'There', 'Their' and 'They're' and knowing how to use these three words correctly is an important step in learning English.
The words 'There' and' Their' are homophones. Homophones are words that are spelt differently but pronounced the same. It is a common mistake to replace one for the other.
'There' always refers to a place, whether concrete or abstract, whereas 'Their' shows belonging or possession. 'They're, on the other hand, is the short form of they are
Let's look at these examples for each of them
How can anyone live there?
Let's go there.
There will be a party tomorrow,
Let us buy their car.
Let us not go to their house.
Return their books tomorrow.
They're sitting there in their car.
In this sentence, notice how 'there' is used to signify a place whereas 'their' is used to show possession. The word 'they're' is a contraction of the word 'they' and 'are' and should not be confused with 'their' and 'there'.
3) Two words commonly confused by English speakers are 'effect' and 'affect'. 'Affect' is used as a verb and means 'to have an influence on' and 'Effect' is used as a noun and means 'the result'.
The dropped catch did not affect the result of the game.
The heavy rainfall affected the grains kept in the old warehouse.
The effect of the tsunami was devastating.
The side effect of the cough syrup was drowsiness.
4) Many English speakers are confused about the usage of the words 'can' and 'may'. For e.g., 'Can I drink water?' is incorrect. 'May I drink water?' is the correct phrase to use in this case.
The key difference between 'can' and 'may' is that 'can' talks about ability and 'may' talks about permission.
Can is used in two cases:
To talk about ability.
I can finish my homework by 5 pm.
Can you finish your homework tonight?
To ask or give permission informally.
Can I use your pen? (To a friend)
You can use my pen. (To a friend)
May is generally used to ask or give permission formally.
Let us take a situation between a student and a teacher.
May I drink water?
Teacher: Yes, you may.
Let us take a situation between two strangers.
May I borrow your pen?
Yes, you may.
5) The words, 'accept' and 'except' are homophones which are often confused by English speakers. 'Accept' is a verb which means 'to receive' or 'to agree'. Most of the time 'except' is used as a preposition which means 'excluding'.
The following examples will make the usage clear.
Amit accepted the job offer.
I can come with you on all days except Sunday.
Sanjiv accepted the allegation that he had cheated.
All the athletes except Anjali finished the race.
He accepted the invitation to the party.
Everyone except Shantanu was invited to the party.
6) The difference between these two words is a very simple one. They are the past tenses of two different verbs.
'Bought' is the past tense of 'buy': I bought a new car last week.
'Brought' is the past tense of 'bring': I brought him a glass of water.
The difference can be remembered easily too, as 'bring' shares its first two letters with 'brought' ('br').
Put A Plug In
Meaning-To speak very highly of or enthusiastically endorse someone or something, as a means of marketing, advertising, or professionally recommending them or it.
Example-We're willing to pay you a generous fee if you put a plug in for our new product on your radio show tonight.
Left, Right, And Centre-
Meaning-In many different places or to many different people all at once.
Example-Ever since the company started, we've had financial issues left, right, and centre.
BAR-B-Q, barbeque - BARBECUE
Casual restaurants like to advertise “BAR-B-Q” and you often see the spelling “barbeque” and variations like “barbaque,” but the standard form is “barbecue.”
ball / bawl - To “bawl” is to cry out loudly, so when you break down in tears you bawl like a baby and when you reprimand people severely you bawl them out. Don’t use “ball” in these sorts of expressions. It has a number of meanings, but none of them have to do with shouting and wailing unless you’re shouting “play ball!”
- ► 2022 (90)
- Common errors in English: data
- Common errors in English:daring-do - DERRING-DO
- Common errors in English : damped / dampened
- Common errors in English :damp squid - DAMP SQUIB
- Common errors in English : dairy / diary
- Meaning of Rough Around The Edges
- Meaning of On A Lark
- Meaning of Keep A Cool Head
- Meaning of It Takes All Kinds
- Meaning of Meet One's Eye
- Common errors in English : call the question
- Common errors in english : caddy-corner
- Common errors in english:cache / cachet
- Common errors in english:cacao / cocoa
- How To Use Shall In English Grammar | Usage of Shall
- Independent Clauses and Dependent Clauses In Engli...
- Common mistakes In English Grammar
- Meaning of Put A Plug In
- Meaning of Left, Right, And Centre
- Common errors in English:BAR-B-Q, barbeque - BARBECUE
- Common errors in English:ball / bawl
- Common errors in English:baldfaced, boldfaced - BA...
- Common errors in English: BATED BREATH
- Common errors in English:bailout / bail out
- 30 Confusing words in English
- Meaning of Jump In One's Skin
- Meaning of Split Hairs
- Meaning of Put A Spin On Something
- Common errors in English: bail / bale
- Common errors in English: bad - BADLY
- Common errors in English: backyard / back yard
- Common errors in English: backward / backwards
- Common errors in English: Usage of backup / back up
- Meaning of (A) bird in hand is worth two in a bush
- Meaning of Might Makes Right
- Meaning of Nosy Parker
- Meaning of A Juggling Act
- Meaning of Talk At Cross Purposes
- Common Errors in English: Usage of backslash / sla...
- Common Errors In English: Usage of backseat / back...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of back back / for...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of alliterate / il...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of alleged, allegedly
- Meaning of Fruits Of One's Labor
- Meaning of Drop The Ball
- Meaning of Pearls Before Swine
- Meaning of Pierce One's Heart
- Meaning of Jolly One Along
- Common Errors in English: Usage of All goes well /...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of All for not - A...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of All be it - ALBEIT
- Common Errors in English: Usage of All and all - A...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of All
- Meaning of Jaw Away
- Meaning of Talk One's Head Off
- Meaning of Jersey Justice
- Meaning of More Than One Bargained For
- Meaning of The Jet Set
- Common errors in English: Usage of aisle / isle
- Common Error in English: Usage of ain’t - AM NOT, ...
- Common errors in English: Usage of aid / aide
- Common Errors in English: Usage of ahold / hold - ...
- Common Errors in English: Usage of agreeance / agr...
- Meaning of (Don't) rock the boat
- Meaning of (Come) hell or high water
- Meaning of (Caught with) pants down
- Meaning of Make an omelette without ...
- Meaning of Look of things
- Common errors in English: Usage of Afterwards / Af...
- Common errors in English: Usage of afterall - AFTE...
- Common errors in English: Usage of African-American
- Common errors in English: Usage of Afghan / Afghani
- Common errors in English: Usage of Affluence / Eff...
- Meaning of Race is to the swift
- Meaning of Meek shall inherit the earth
- Meaning of Never too old to learn
- Meaning of Never too late to repent
- Meaning of Nimble sixpence is better than a slow s...
- Common errors in English: Usage of adverse / averse
- Common errors in English: Usage of advice / advise
- Common errors in English: Usage of advance / advanced
- Common errors in English: Usage of ADULTERY
- Common errors in English: Usage of adopted / adoptive
- Meaning of Look of things
- Meaning of A lemon
- Meaning of Spot on
- Meaning of Top of one's lungs
- Meaning of First hand
- Meaning of Touch of a button
- Meaning of Sly as a fox
- Meaning of Hell broke loose
- Meaning of Hands on deck
- Meaning of "A different kettle of fish"
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Seven Ways to Support Healthy Blood Pressure During Pregnancy ( NewsUSA ) – Pregnant or planning a pregnancy? It’s time to think about yo...
Amazon today's offer: Deal of the day "Bridge the divide." (Also: Bridge the gap) This means, to bring two sides closer toge...
Get yourself admitted Incorrect : He took admission in English. Correct . He got himself admitted in English. Or He admitted himself in E...
Amazon today's offer: Deal of the day Limited Time Offer: 50% Off on Robot Vacuum Cleaner "Carrying the flag." To figurative...