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Confusing Words

If I was or If I were

Average: 3.5 (15 votes)

Why is was used in the first sentence and were in the second?

If I were a millionaire, I would buy a yacht.
If I was late, it was because I got stuck in traffic.

Were for unreal situations

Use were when talking about imagined, hypothetical situations.

If I were you, I would book a flight now.
If you were an animal, you would be a cat!
I would ask her out on a date if I were ten years younger!

Can you find these ten mistakes?

Average: 3.3 (24 votes)

Here are ten sentences. Each one has a mistake. What are the ten mistakes? As you read the sentences, think about grammar, spelling, parts of speech and word forms.

Write your answers in the comments area below.

1 - This trousers are too tight for me.

2 - Have you ever seeing a monkey in the wild?

3 - She's been living in London since six months.

4 - Its much colder today than yesterday.

5 - Driving in bad weather can be danger.

6 - We are begining to see more and more birds in our garden.

7 - Are their more of those biscuits?

Your and You're

Average: 4.1 (27 votes)

Your and you're sound similar and are sometimes confused even by native speakers.

Your

Your is the possessive form of you. It shows ownership or relationship to the person you are talking to.

Examples:

Can I borrow your bike?

Your daughter is in the garden.

You're

You're is the contraction of you are.

Examples:

You're cheerful.

Farther and Further

Average: 3.6 (15 votes)

What's the difference in meaning between farther and further?

Why do we use farther in the first sentence and further in the second?

How much farther is it to the school?
I don’t want to discuss it any further.

Use farther for physical distance: How much farther is it to the school?

Than and Then

Average: 4.1 (12 votes)

Confusing then and than is a mistake we frequently see online, even made by native speakers. Although their spelling and pronunciation may appear similar, they have very different meanings.

Than

Than can be either a conjunction or a preposition.

It can be used to join two parts of a comparison or used with 'more' or 'less' to compare numbers or amounts:

I am a lot older than my brother.

There are fewer people here than last year.

I would rather go to a restaurant than a bar.

Same sound, different meaning

Average: 3.3 (35 votes)

Some words have the same sounds as other words, but they have different meanings and spellings.

Take a look at these examples and then take the quiz.

Won / One

He won a new car in a competition.
I have one brother and two sisters.

See / Sea

It's too dark to see anything. Turn the light on.
She went for a swim in the sea.

Confusing Words: Felt and Fell

Average: 4.3 (25 votes)

Let's take a look at a pair of words that are commonly confused by English learners: felt and fell.

Felt

Felt is the past tense and past participle of the verb 'feel'.

She felt better after a good sleep.
I haven't felt this sick for a long time.

Fell

Fell is the past tense of the verb 'fall'.

I broke my arm when I fell off the horse.
She tripped and fell down the stairs.

If I were / If I was

Average: 4.3 (37 votes)

Take a look at the two following sentences. Why do we use were in the first sentence and was in the second.

If I were rich, I would buy you a car.

If she was feeling sick, it's good that she went home.

Explanation

If I were rich...<-- I am not rich, but I imagining what I would do if I were.

Homophones - Same pronunciation different meaning

Average: 3.5 (32 votes)

Homophones are words that have a different spelling, different meaning but the same pronunciation.

For example:

I went to the sea to see my friend.

The words sea and see have the same pronunciation but different meanings and spellings.

Homophone Examples

Buy/By

Buy her a present for her birthday.
She lives by a park.

There, Their and They're

Average: 4.3 (25 votes)

Because most native English speakers pronounce the words there, their and they're the same way, it can be difficult to understand the difference in meaning. The difference in meaning is very important when writing. Using the wrong one in your email is a big mistake. Let's find out the difference in meaning.

There

There is used to show that something exists or happens. Use there for positions - there is the opposite of here.

Is there a post office nearby?