Commonly Confused Words In your notebooks or the grammar section of your binders, you will write the definitions of twenty pairs of commonly confused words AND your own sentences that correctly use both
affect/effect affect effect • usually a verb • means “to impress” or “to influence” • Try not to let unkind remarks affect you. • can be noun or verb • noun means “the result of some action” • The effects of Hurricane Sandy are terrible to see. • verb means “to accomplish, to bring about” • The school board effected changes in the curriculum.
all right/alright all right alright • means satisfactory, adequate; unhurt; correct • The collection of gifts was all right, although they had hoped for a better response. • THIS IS NOT A WORD. • DONE.
it’s/its it’s its • This is a contraction: a shortened combination of two words: it is • It’s my fault that the sink overflowed. • This is the possessive form of the pronoun “it,” meaning that or those belonging to it • The community is proud of its school.
everyday/every day everyday every day • This is an adjective. It needs a noun to modify. • It means suitable for ordinary days; usual; common • Losing his keys was an everyday event. • Two words: every (an adjective meaning each and all) and day (a noun meaning a 24 hour period) • Every day = each and all days • He went to Starbucks for coffee every day.
then/than then than • an adverb • means at “that time” • We are going to the bank, and then we are going to Portillo’s. • a conjunction that joins words in comparisons • He is taller than Sheila.
loose/lose loose lose • adjective • means free; not confined or restrained; not tight • They grabbed handfuls of the loose candy in the bowl. • verb • means to misplace; to get rid of; to suffer loss • When did you lose the book?