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Word Usage

Here is a list of commonly misused words or word phrases. The definitions of these words or word phrases may come from Cambridge Dictionaries Online, MacMillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners or Oxford Dictionaries Online.

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alternately, alternatively

Which should you use, alternately or alternatively ? The adverb alternately means occurring by turns. The adverb alternatively is used to suggest...


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ambiguous, ambivalent

Which should you use, ambiguous or ambivalent ? The adjective ambiguous means not clear, or capable of being understood in more than one way. The...


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amiable, amicable

Which should you use, amiable or amicable ? The adjective amiable means having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner. The adjective amicable...


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among, between

Which should you use, among or between ? Among is traditionally used for saying that something involves three or more people or things. Between is...


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amount, number

Which should you use, amount or number ? The noun amount means a collection of something that cannot be counted. The noun number means a quantity of...


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amused at, amused by, amused over, amused with

Which should you use, amused at , amused by , amused over or amused with ? The adjective amused means entertained or interested by something. Amused...


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amused, amusing

Which should you use, amused or amusing ? The adjective amused means entertained or interested by something. The adjective amusing means...


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an impossible, the impossible

Which should you use, an impossible or the impossible ? The phrase the impossible is used as a noun to means something that is impossible or very...


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and nor

Because nor means and not, there is no need to use and before nor when nor is used to introduce an inverted clause. Incorrect:He wouldn‘t have...


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and, but

Which should you use, and or but ? The coordinating conjunction and is used to connect similar ideas. The coordinating conjunction but is used to...


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