Chapter 12 A Glossary of Usage Common Usage Problems pgs. 306-327
Standard English • Standard English is language that is grammatically correct and appropriate in formal and informal situations. • Formal situation (speeches, school compositions, etc.) • Informal situation (conversations, personal writing-like letters)
a, an • Use a before words that begin with a consonant sound. • He is a hero. • Use an before words beginning with a vowel sound. • An owl is a beautiful bird. • An hour can be a long time to wait in line.
accept, except • Accept is a verb that means “to receive”. • I cannot accept your gift because it’s too extravagant. • Except can be either a verb or a preposition. As a verb, it means “to leave out” or “to exclude”. As a preposition, it means “other than” or “excluding”. • The students were excepted from the final exam. • Do all of the problems except number 8.
affect, effect • Affect is a verb meaning “to influence”. • His misbehavior affected the principal’s decision. • Effect can be either a verb (meaning “to bring about”) or a noun (meaning “the result of some action”). • The new law effected great changes in crime rates. • The effect of studying can be higher grades.
ain’t • Avoid using ain’t in both speaking and writing because it is nonstandard English.
all ready, already • All ready means “completely prepared”. • I was all ready for my trip when the bus arrived. • Already means “previously”. • I had already packed my bags.
all right • All right should be written as two words. • When used as an adjective, all right means “unhurt” or “satisfactory”. • The passengers in the wreck were all right. • When used as an adverb, all right means “well enough”. • He did all right at the competition.
a lot • A lot should always be written as two words. • She completed a lot of volunteer work. alot
anyways, anywheres, everywheres, nowheres, somewheres • These words should not be used with a final s. • anyway • anywhere • everywhere • nowhere • somewhere
at • Do not use at after where. Where is your textbook at? Where is your textbook?
bad, badly • Bad is an adjective. • The milk smells bad. • Badly is an adverb. • The soloist sang badly.
between, among • Between is used when referring to two things at a time, even if there are more than two things in the group. • I ate a snack between school and piano practice. • Among is used when referring to a group rather than to separate individuals. • There was disagreement among the Cubs fans about the umpire’s decision.
bring, take • Bring means “to come carrying something”. • Bring your assignment to the teacher. • Take means “to go carrying something”. • Take your textbook home with you.
bust, busted • Avoid using these words as verbs. Use a form of burst, break, catch, or arrest. He was busted for selling drugs. He was arrested for selling drugs.
could of, should of, would of, might of, must of • These helping verbs should not be followed with of. Use have instead. Our team should of won the championship. Our team should have won the championship.
fewer, less • Fewer is used with plural words and tells “how many”. • How many fewer students run track than play football? • Less is used with singular words and tells “how much”. • Is less water needed for a cactus or a corn plant?
good, well • Good is an adjective. • The students thought the cookies tasted good. • Well is usually an adverb, but it may also be used as an adjective to mean “healthy”. • The students performed well on their exam. • I stayed home because I didn’t feel well.
had ought, hadn’t ought • Ought should not be used with had. The government had ought to help the poor. The government ought to help the poor. The government should help the poor.
hardly, scarcely • Both hardly and scarcely convey negative meanings. They should not be used with another negative word to express a single negative idea. I can’t hardly wait to see that movie! I can hardly wait to see that movie!
Your Assignment: • Page 315 • Review A, #1-10 • Workbook pages 194-195, evens ONLY!