Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

Confusing Words

So and Such

Average: 4.1 (19 votes)

Here is an explanation of the uses of so and such:

So is used before an adjective or an adverb:
so big – so beautifully designed

Such is followed by a or an and is used before an adjective + a singular noun:
such a long time – such an incredible story

Play, Go, Do

Average: 4.4 (19 votes)

When we speak about sports and leisure activities the verbs 'play', 'go' and 'do' are used with different sports and activities.

Play

Play is used with sports that have teams, rules and competitions:
Badminton, baseball, football, golf, rugby and tennis are some examples.
I have been playing tennis for over ten years.
When I was young we played football just outside our house in the street.

Like, Look like, Be like

Average: 4.3 (16 votes)

Like can be used as a verb to talk about tastes and preferences:
I like chocolate.
I like living in the city.

If a verb is used after like it can take the –ing form or the infinitive with to with very little difference in meaning:
I like cooking. I like to cook.

Be Have Do

Average: 3.8 (37 votes)

The verbs be, have and do can all be used as the main verb in a sentence:
My sister is at university.
We have a break at half past twelve.
I usually do the shopping on Saturday morning.

Auxiliary verbs

We use be, have and do to form tenses, questions and with negative forms. When be, have and do are used in this way they are called auxiliary verbs.

–ed or –ing?

Average: 4.2 (28 votes)

It can sometimes be difficult to decide which form of the adjective to use: -ed or -ing. Do I say boring or bored? Here are the rules:

-ed

- ed describes someone's feelings:

I'm bored. Let's do something else. (I feel bored).
You seem bored. Would you like to go to the cinema? (I think you feel bored).

We use -ed for people only.

Homophones

Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Homophones are words that have the same sound (pronunciation), but different meanings and usually, spelling.

Examples

These words have the same sound, but different meanings and spelling:

I have two brothers. (number)
We’re going to the park. Would you like to come too? (also)

These words have the same sound and spelling, but different meanings:

Either or / Neither nor

Average: 3.4 (47 votes)

Either …or

We can use either...or to emphasise a choice. (Either…or is used to refer to two things or people.) In most cases 'either' can be omitted.

Here are some examples:
You can either stay here or come with us.
You can stay here or come with us.

It was either John or Peter who received your message.
Either John or Peter received your message.
John or Peter received your message.

Adjectives ending in -ed or -ing

Average: 3.5 (13 votes)

Adjectives ending in -ed or -ing.

-ed: excited, interested, bored, annoyed, surprised.
-ing: exciting, interesting, boring, annoying, surprising.

The words above are a few of the adjectives that end in -ed or -ing. Their meaning can sometimes be confusing.

Adjectives ending in -ed show what has happened to a person or thing.
He was surprised by the result of his test.

Go and Do

Average: 4.1 (26 votes)

Go and do can be used as verbs that are not as important as the nouns they are used with. We call these verbs delexical verbs.

Go
Do you want to go swimming tomorrow?
We went for a long walk in the park yesterday

Do
I have to do the shopping this morning.
She does the cooking, she’s a better chef than me.

Reflexive Pronouns

Average: 4.1 (22 votes)

When the subject of a verb is also the object we use a reflexive pronoun.
She looked at herself in the mirror.
‘She’ is the subject and also the object in this sentence so ‘herself’ is used.

The reflexive pronouns are:
Singular – myself, yourself, himself, herself and itself
Plural – ourselves, yourselves, themselves