Top Misused Words of the English Language

Don’t Lose Your Credibility by Misusing These Words!

By Expert Author demand, we collected some of the most misused words of the English language. From our data reports to your biggest pet peeves, here are the 5 most misused words to add to your article proofreading lineup. Strengthen your writing skills and maintain your credibility as an Expert Author by ensuring these errors never see the light of day again!

Lose vs. Loose

lose – To be deprived of or cease to have; to cause someone to fail to gain or retain something.

Incorrect: Loose weight in 5 weeks or loose your chance to go to the beach!
Correct: Lose weight in 5 weeks or lose your chance to go to the beach!

loose – Not firmly or tightly fixed in place; to release or set free.

Incorrect: The dog’s collar was lose, so Bob tightened it before the dog got lose.
Correct: The dog’s collar was loose, so Bob tightened it before the dog got loose.

Its vs. It’s

its – Associated with a thing previously mentioned or in reference to an animal without prior knowledge of the animal’s gender.

Incorrect: That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; it’s posture is horrendous.
Correct: That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; its posture is horrendous.

it’s – Contraction of it is or it has.

Incorrect: John bikes to work. Its his favorite part of the day.
Correct: John bikes to work. It’s his favorite part of the day.

Your vs. You’re

your – Possessive form of you (typically used before a noun).

Incorrect: You’re article writing skills have improved!
Correct: Your article writing skills have improved!

you’re – Contraction of you are.

Incorrect: Your an article writing master!
Correct: You’re an article writing master!

Their vs. They’re vs. There

their – Possessive adjective indicating a particular noun belongs to them.

Incorrect: There keys are in the ignition.
Correct: Their keys are in the ignition.

they’re – Contraction of they are.

Incorrect: Where are they? Their at the shop.
Correct: Where are they? They’re at the shop.

there – Reference to the existence of something; a place or position.

Incorrect: Their is a reason why the pie is gone. John ate the last slice over they’re.
Correct: There is a reason why the pie is gone. John ate the last slice over there.

To vs. Too

to – In the direction of or at; used with the base form of a verb to show the verb is in the infinitive.

Incorrect: Susan goes too the store too buy vegetables.
Correct: Susan goes to the store to buy vegetables.

too – Very, as well, also.

Incorrect: Bill drives to fast on his motorcycle to.
Correct: Bill drives too fast on his motorcycle too.

We will be sprinkling in more of the most common misused words over the next few weeks, so stop by the Blog again for new grammar and spelling tips to ensure your articles are error free. Not only will these tips help you maintain your credibility, but they can be applied across multiple platforms and help you drive more traffic to your blog or website!



I regularly find the “your” you’re” discrepancies when I’m proofing my work. Even though I’m aware of the differences, my fingers don’t always tap on the right keys!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 9:21 AM


Jack Jones writes:

Something same happened with me. Its and It’s or you can say Your or you’re.


Jean Reynolds writes:

A handy trick is to use the “Find” command in your software to highlight each “your” (or whatever word tends to trip you up). You can double-check each word before you send your completed document on its way.


Fia writes:

than vs. then

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 9:36 AM


Michael Prime writes:

I find this to be poor reading and spelling skills. Misuse I would highlight as “moot” and “momentarily” as well as “irregardless” and “unique” with a qualifier.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM


Kenneth Watson writes:

Also : effect vs affect and then vs than.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM


Karen Hughes writes:

I agree with Kenneth…effect vs affect…

The older I get the more I have to check myself as well!



So interesting, I delivered a presentation last night about this very thing! You outline the most common errors well in this post. I’ll be sure to share.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM


Jean Reynolds writes:

Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad the article was helpful.


Joseph Riden writes:

Here are two misused words that even college professors get wrong. Use these correctly and you’ll not only avoid damage to your credibility, you’ll enhance it.

1. Comprise means “to be made up of” something.

CORRECT — “A sentence comprises the words and punctuation within it.”

INCORRECT — “A sentence is comprised of, etc.”

Nothing “is comprised of” anything. Everything comprises something else.

2. Continuously versus continually.

“Continuously” means literally without interruption.

“Continually” means repeatedly and often.


“She continuously corrects my use of language” would mean she never stops correcting, literally, day and night.

More accurately, “She continually corrects, etc.”

I didn’t learn these subtleties until I had a professional editor edit an ebook I wrote. If you’ve never had a real pro edit your writing, I recommend it as a learning experience. You’ll find out all about what you do wrong and how to fix it.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM


Liuba Huzii writes:

Joseph, thanks so much for sharing these things. Very helpful.


Joseph Vann Hamby Sr. writes:

WOW! I simply get what you are saying. My English 099 teacher really picked me apart and as a result I see my own mistakes by observation. This dog step style of internet writing bit me hard with her. “She Taught For Forty Years” is my example. If you were to read my articles you will see my mistakes in a similar context.


Helen writes:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I’m not sure why kids aren’t learning this in school these days but it drives me up a wall when people who are suppose to be educated don’t know how to use these words correctly. I went to school in the 60’s and they were pretty strict with grammar then. Hope your post helps and thanks again.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM


Chryss Guiler writes:

Me, too, Helen. I was taught to diagram sentences and learned lots of rules of grammar. I continually (!) cringe when watching television and hear the incredible mistakes.


Helen writes:

As for watching TV and cringing . . . recently on the local news this young female reporter did a one minute spot on something going on at the local library. I didn’t pay much attention to the report as I was counting the times she said “lie barry”. My count was ten!!!!!! She must have called in sick the day they studied that word in journalism school.


Albert Motz writes:

Like Stephanie, I find myself making these mistakes all the time and I never did before. I believe it’s because I’ve become a more accomplished typist, seldom having to spell out a word to type it. I might want to type “they’re” but my fingers might hear “there” or “their.” The same holds true for the other words mentioned.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM



Thanks for these tips!

Out of all these misused words I think “lose vs. loose” is one of the most notorious ones I see on a regular basis, and not just for article writing.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 10:58 AM


Peter writes:

The one I find really irritating is then Vs than

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 11:16 AM


Jerry Smith writes:

I’ve seen “Penultimate” used fairly frequently to mean something more than the ultimate. For example: “That was bad, but the penultimate example has to be…..”

Penultimate means the one before last and cannot be used to mean the “ultimate ultimate”.

The other one, already referenced above is “irregardless” which shouldn’t be allowed to live as word – it seems to have become accepted but regardless is all that’s needed!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM


Chris Staudt writes:

My pet: Using “I” as an object. Example: Give it to Jim and I. You wouldn’t say “Give it to I,” so why “to Jim and I”? Probably confusion with “Jim and I did it” vs. “I and Jim…” (less polite) or “Jim and me did it” (totally wrong).

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 12:19 PM


Nick Wright writes:

Simple errors such as these (word confusions) you can detect most of the time with Microsoft Word or a copy-editing program such as StyleWriter.

Before submitting this post, I read Ezinearticle’s comment policy and found these basic English errors.

1. : Please be respectful of everyones time (apostrophe always needed with everyone’s time).

2. … website links given by any commentor. The correct spelling of commentor is commenter (although there is a different word commentator).

3. …promoting their website or their clients website – apostrophe needed on clients.

4. . You can unsusbcribe at any time. – wrong spelling of unsubscribe.

These mistakes were in comment conditions that said: “We reserve the right to fix common spelling, grammar, sentence structure or punctuation mistakes but do not guarantee that we will catch or fix any mistakes that you make.”

Perhaps they should fix their own mistakes by running Word’s spelling and grammar checker and StyleWriter through their website copy.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM


Nick –

As much as it pains me to admit it, you are absolutely right. We really dropped the ball on that one. Thanks so much for pointing out those errors. I can assure you, we are already in the process of getting them corrected.

– Marc


Susanne Warren writes:

Errhh!!! One thing that drives me crazy is plural forms of a word with an apostrophe s, as in “parfait’s.” (I saw this on a printed sign at the supermarket yesterday, which means they’re probably posted at every location in the chain.) It seems that since we started using acronyms more frequently, as in “DVD’s,” people now think that all plural forms of nouns should include an apostrophe!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM



Beware of “decimate.” It does not mean the same as “devastate.” Decimate means one-tenth of something was affected.

INCORRECT: Hurricane Katrina decimated the 9th ward of New Orleans.

CORRECT: Hurricane Katrina devastated the 9th ward of New Orleans.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM


Gary –

According to, both are correct. As a matter of fact, the very first definition is “to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.”

– Marc



If the two words have the same meaning, why not drop one of them from the English language? Answer: we keep both because they have different meanings. The Oxford Dictionary explains the history and current (accepted) usage of “decimate.”


Good question! Just another one of the many idiosyncrasies of the English language …


Julian Barterer writes:

Correct: That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; its posture is horrendous.
As far as I know this is also wrong. It should read “That monkey will never be a ballet dancer; its’ posture is horrendous.”, The apostrophe goes after the s which shows belonging.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM


Julian –

An apostrophe is never used with the word “its” to show possession. The only time an apostrophe is used is as a contraction of “it is.” In this case, the word “its” (no apostrophe) is used in reference to an animal without prior knowledge of the animal’s gender.

– Marc


Julian Barterer writes:

I stand corrected.


Jean Reynolds writes:

A useful way to get the possessive of it correct every time: Think about “his.” There’s no apostrophe in his (a possessive word), and its (possessive) works the same way. In fact you can try plugging “his” into any “its” sentence to double-check it:
The company doubled its profits.
The company doubled his profits.
Yes – omit the apostrophe.


Kevin writes:

I used to have troubles with lose and loose. Then I started taking a little more time to read it back to myself and it all made much more sense which one to use where.

Thanks for the article,

Kevin (Mister SelfHelp)

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM



Interesting piece, but you forgot my very fav pet peeve!

The misuse of the word “myself.” We can practically do without the word entirely. Almost every use of it that you hear is a misuse. So many people would say, “He gave a dog to John and myself.” The correct sentence would read, “He gave a dog to John and me.”

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM


Chryss Guiler writes:

I must agree with Doreen P. I am flabbergasted by the misuse of “myself”. It seems I constantly hear people being interviewed on the news start a sentence with “Myself and so-and-so….”

I also wish people would learn the difference between the subject of a sentence and the object. I think many believe that “He gave a dog to John and me” sounds incorrect and they say, “He gave a dog to John and I.” I want to scream at them and say, “Take out ‘John and’ and say the sentence again; either that or try “we” and “us”.

Oh, well, I guess sentence structure is no longer taught in our schools. Pity.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM


Al McCartan writes:

Great article and it does not hurt to bring these little glitches up occasionally – makes for a good aid memoir.
I do have a pet peeve and that is: Redundancy – you know, Free Gift, I Myself, Backwards in Reverse and so on. I guess a lot of us are influenced by TV advertising copy and textspeak a la cell phone, thinking it’s cool to write this way. Like Steph, my fingers get ahead of my brain.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM


Chris Staudt writes:

Trying to unsubscribe from email notices…

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM


Chris –

We’ll get that taken care of for you.

– Marc


Deena writes:

One of my pet peeves is “Who” versus “Whom”. And of course “whoever” versus “whomever”. I found a rule that has helped me a lot: Who = he/she. Whom = him/her. Example: Whoever reads this will be helped = He reads this [and] will be helped. I will help whomever I choose = I will help him/choose him.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM



Hmm. Consider this sentence:

The UPS man was told to deliver the package to (whoever) (whomever) answers the door.

Which is correct, and why?

Be careful!


Deena writes:

Whomever; “Deliver the package to him (her)”. Wrong to say Deliver the package to he (she/whoever). “Answers the door” is extra, to describe the person who (he/she) answers the door.
Tough call!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM



Deena, I must respectfully disagree with you. In the sentence I proposed, the words “whoever answers the door” are correct because “whoever” is the subject of a clause. Note, however, that “whomever” is okay if we drop the words “answers the door.” In that case, “whomever” is merely the object of a preposition.

The decision about which word to use comes down to nominative versus objective case.


Bill Phillips writes:

There’s a good case for either usage. Gary is correct in viewing the pronoun “whoever” as the subject of the clause. But Deena is also correct in treating “whomever” as the object of the preposition “to.”

Would we say, “to he who answers the door” or “to him who answers the door?”


Jacquelyn Lynn writes:

Great article, great comments. Covered all my pet peeves and then some!

It’s sad that what was once absolutely wrong has become acceptable through “common usage.” Decimate is a classic — it means to reduce by 10% but has evolved to meaning to destroy or kill a large portion of (whatever).

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM


robby bonfire writes:

The worst hacksaw destruction in the history of the English language has to be P.C. references to “their” instead of his or hers. Just gruesome.

I will always use the singular when the singular case is called for and screw the N.O.W. and their fawning journalistic minions.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM


Jean Reynolds writes:

Use of “their” with singular nouns used to be standard English until a self-appointed grammarian named Lindley Murray made up his own rule (use “his,” not “their”) in the 17th century and wrote a bestselling book include the rule he’d invented. Sadly, it stuck. And then the feminists came along (I’m a feminist myself, BTW) and added “or her.” And so we’re stuck with this clumsy, unnatural, and ahistorical rule – which is gradually disappearing as the language returns to its earlier usage. I, for one, look forward to the change.


Neil Royle writes:

lie vs. lay

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM


ifeanyi emenne writes:

For me, it is
advise vs advice,

realise vs realize.

There are also the issue with British and American English spelling.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM


Bill Phillips writes:

A usage error which has become almost universal is the treatment of “media” as a singular noun, e.g. “The media is criticizing the administration.” The word is in fact the plural of the Latin word “medium.” There are several others such as “criteria” and “phenomena” – both plural forms of the Greek words “criterion” and “phenomenon” respectively.

But the use of “media” in the singular has become so widespread that it will soon be a permissible “alternate” in our dictionaries.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 6:37 PM


Greg Gruzalski writes:

Ditto for ‘data.’



Now the efforts may be on to correct usage of prepositions. Prepositions are very important and change the meaning altogether. For eg. passed away and passed out. I think you will concentrate on this too.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

One problem many speech recognition users don’t catch is things like:

China – the country
china – the dishware

Chile – the country
chilly – being cold
chili – the food dish
chili – the pepper
Red Hot Chili Peppers – the band

When using voice software, you have to edit very closely to make sure that you have said what you mean and it is correct. It’s so easy to make mistakes – including all the ones above. Beware!

Also when dictating if you use a word in the title which is capitalized, many times the software capitalizes it throughout the document, which is why I mentioned the proper names, places and difference between regular objects and verbs here. Such mistakes really jump out at the well-read readers, it destroys your credibility and message, so, this is critical to your writing. I can’t tell you how many mistakes I had made in my older articles when I first started, so concentrate! You’ll be glad later that you did.

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 9:38 PM


Joseph Vann Hamby Sr. writes:

Ironically, I have not written in a while as a result of forgotten English Composition skills. It was very exhausting for me to get my subject verb agreements right in addition to pronoun antecedents. I found that expository writing in my college was a good way to overrule my inequities as a writer. My intention is to start writing again soon, now that my English 1101 Professor at The University of West Georgia is done picking me apart. I feel great about future writing as an end result. I will share the “never never” list that was taught to me, if that is okay with the rest of you!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 11:44 PM


Joseph –

By all means, share your “never never” list!

– Marc


Joseph Vann Hamby Sr. writes:

I will do just that… In expository collegian writing this is the list I had to memorize and it has helped me tremendously.


its” (it’s or its) Pronoun

our’s (ours)

their’s (theirs)

your’s (yours)

mens’ (mens)

womens’ (women’s)

childrens’ (children’s)

hisself (himself) Poor grammar

theirself (themselves)

ourself (ourselves)

could of (could have)

should of (should have)

would of (would have)

must of (must have)

reason… is because Redundant
(reword to eliminate on or the other)

can’t hardly (can hardly)

alright (all right)

nite (night)

alot (a lot)

irregardless (regardless)

between you and I (… and me)

due to the fact that (because) too long and wordy

being as
being that (because)
reason being that

at this point in time (now) wordy and cliche

in today’s society (omit)

if…was (if…were) correct method

you was (you were)

use to (used to)

you= always plural

most all ( almost all) correct grammar

each and every (choose one)

repeat over (repeat)

past history (eliminate one)

forever and ever (forever)

most unique (unique) avoid wordy and keep succinct

refer back to (refer to)

really and truly (choose one)


EXAMPLES: Last but not least
cold as ice
in today’s society
banging your head against a brick wall
broaden your horizons


If the above phrase completes the sentence, there is not a possibility of the sentence being incomplete..

That will be all I share for now and had I not been taught these things… I would not have passed the exit COMPASS for my university.

Enjoy…. and most importantly write great content!!!!


Joseph Vann Hamby Sr. writes:

Also, I have a couple of small typo issues. but it was text straight out of my book so you know I did not invent the list. It was created by an English Professor/ Teacher of over forty years…


Joseph –

This is a fabulous list! Thanks for sharing. :-)

– Marc


Dorothy Gauvin writes:

Great stuff from everyone. It should help a lot of writers. May I add my favourite dislike; ‘a myriad of’ instead of the correct use of ‘myriad’ on its own. As many will be aware, the word means ‘ thousands of’ so ‘a myriad of’ is redundant. This comes from one who is a self-taught lover of the language.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 1:31 AM


Viv writes:

English is my second language, so I often make these mistakes. :( However I hire an editor to correct my site… :)
More often made mistakes: then vs than, they vs day (I know this one is stupid),
also vs as well, just vs only.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 1:32 AM


Jem Shaw writes:

It’s encouraging to see so active a rearguard protecting the tatters of our beleaguered language!

For me, the world would be a better place if we could get rid of “criteria” as a singular: “That’s my main criteria”, and punish those who insist on using “liable” when they mean “likely”.

And as for imply versus infer: “Are you trying to infer that I’m an idiot?”

No, I inferred that some time ago, but your last comment certainly implies that I was correct.”

People will always make grammatical errors, but capital punishment for those who suggest it doesn’t matter would make for a brighter world.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 6:05 AM


David writes:

What bugs me is people saying decimate when they mean destroy. Decimate means to reduce by one tenth, yet every time you see a historical documentary the presenter says so-and-so’s force was decimated.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 6:08 AM


Greg Coates writes:

I think the word devastate has another meaning than the one quoted:
I was so devastated by his remarks that I could not even formulate a reply
(my equilibrium was totally disrupted)

I always though that to decimate means to reduce to a tenth of it’s original size

Perhaps I have been wrong all this time (nearly 69 years)


Randine writes:

People who make up words to sound intelligent. The one that really gets on my nerves is “irregardless” because not only is it not a word but it is also a double negative!! argh

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM


Al McCartan writes:

Okay! how about the ‘him v them’. Tpo often I see and hear singular items being pluralized.

Some examples:

The Australian Labor Party will hold their convention in Sydney…’

The Utah basketball team had their biggest win…”
Is party and team not singular?

Thoughts, please.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM


nina rothchiod writes:

Another example of misused words:

lay and lie. lay requires an object and also is the past tense of lie.

Wrong: I’m going to lay down. Right: I’m going to lie down. Right: I lay the book on the table.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM


Elena writes:

I think that one of the reasons that the English language is hard to learn is that the sound of some words is the same, but the spelling and meaning are different.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM


Richard Drakes writes:

I often see ‘should of’ and could of’ instead of ‘should have’ and ‘could have’

Also a curious word seems to have entered the English language – definately. Definately is definitely not the correct spelling!

Finally (for now) the pronunciation of vulnerable. More and more I hear people pronounce it as vunrable. Maybe it can be difficult to pronounce, but surely worth the effort.

Comment provided March 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM


Ted Oviatt writes:

The most common error I find among well educated speakers (e.g. TV announcers) is “who” vs. “whom.” They know not to say “My colleague and me stayed there all night”(“me” has to be “I” because it is a subject); but they keep the nominative form when “me” is an object. (EX: The President accompanied my colleague and I on a tour of the rose garden.) It should be “my colleague and me” since “me” is an object of the verb “accompanied.”

Comment provided March 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM



Party and team are singular, even though they refer to multiple participants. “Their” is incorrect.

You could also say, “The members of the Utah basketball team…” to make the subject plural.

Comment provided March 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM


Jean Reynolds writes:

In the UK, party, team, and similar words are plural. In the US, those words can be plural if the sentence refers to a disagreement: The team are arguing about the proposed tournament schedule.



My husband pet peeve word is : thaw and unthaw. You do not “unthaw” something that is frozen you ” thaw” it.

Mine is: Lie and Lay. You Lie down. You don’t lay down. Humans lie they do not lay. Animals lay. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Affect and Effect. Affect is a facial expression. Effect is how a reaction is.

Borrow and Lend. You’ borrow’ an item ‘from’ your friend. You do not lend an item from your friend. You ‘lend’ an item ‘to’ your friend.

My17 year old son also says that when people cuss it drops the amount of respect you had for that person. I tend to agree.

Comment provided March 11, 2012 at 8:16 PM


Robyn Walter writes:

Interesting post, I often have to think twice when using its & it’s

Comment provided March 12, 2012 at 3:25 AM


Jacquelyn Lynn writes:

I have to think about a lot of these because they’re not intuitive. The point is that we do think about them so that we use the correct word and we don’t just blow it off as unimportant.


Mrs Beauty writes:

Thanks for your tutorial and info really helped me. TQ

Comment provided March 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM


Nina Rothchild writes:

One of my pet peeves is using the word “impact” as a verb. It’s just as easy to use “affect” to mean having an influence on.

Comment provided March 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM


Kenneth Watson writes:

Another pet peeve : less vs fewer; less for amount, fewer for number

Comment provided March 17, 2012 at 11:52 PM


Opal Marrs writes:


Your illustration sentences use a composite group which is singular and should be “held its convention” and “its biggest win”.
Much of our struggle with sentence structure can be eased by diagramming. I often see these kinds of errors in published best sellers, believe it or not.
I am extremely schooled in the American (English) language and have done some editing for a couple of writers. As an avid reader, I pick up quickly on these misused words.

Comment provided March 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM


Neil Heaton writes:

I always freak out when I come across errors such as the ones contained in this article, particularly when they seem to come from literary “gurus” and professionals. The other day, someone sent out an email to all staff thanking them for their patients. Clearly, this person meant to thank everyone for their patience.

Comment provided March 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM


Ian writes:

For some people who doesn’t familiar with English as the language as a daily conversation, will certainly be separate issue (am i used correct words?). Is there any tool to solve the problem?
thanks for being advice

Comment provided March 24, 2012 at 4:56 AM


Ian –

English can be a difficult second language to learn. In order to be successful with article writing, you’ll need to adopt a few techniques to help you overcome some of the challenges you’ll encounter. You may want to check out this video for a few tips:

– Marc


Ian writes:

Thank you so much Marc, very appreciate it. I am going to check this one.


Vijay Khosla writes:

A great article. Especially the comments written by a few learned friends have taught me a lot.

I enjoyed the conversation and comments passed between Deena & Gary Jacobson (Comments No. 22 & 23).

I thank both of them on their enlightening discussion on ‘Whoever & Whomever’.


Comment provided March 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM


Salihu S Dikko writes:

Dear Marc,

Thanks for pointing out these tips to the EzineArticles Expert Authors. It is possible most of the Authors are aware of them or some of them, but due to writing tension it escapes or they escape their concentration at the point of writing or during submitting, as most times one is in a hurry to migrate to other engagements. However, they are good high lights for the Expert Authors on board to take good and proper notes of now and always forever.

Comment provided March 27, 2012 at 5:18 AM


Tammie Graem writes:

I appreciate this article tip on commonly misused words. It is a great reminder! After being out of school for almost 35 years, I have a tendency to forget which is correct. These tips are an excellent refresher. Thank you again!

Comment provided April 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM


Greg Coates writes:

I have been out of school for 54 years and it is sometimes difficult to abandon a long held belief – but a very good dicipline to learn – thank you.

Comment provided April 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM


Greg Coates writes:

I went to secondary school in Wales in the 1950’s (an English bilingual boy) and was taught english grammar by a very exacting English ‘english gammar’ teacher. I learned well and remember a great deal of what she taught – but not everything I’m sure. I think I was infatuated with her. Happy days!

Comment provided April 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM


Greg Coates writes:

This is the first time I have been on this site – I love it.

I’ve seen so many words here that I have cringed over in the years since school in 1958.

I’ll be back for more enjoyment!!!

Comment provided April 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM


Greg –

Welcome to our blog – I’m glad that you like what you see! We publish something new five days per week, so there’s bound to be plenty of topics of interest to you. Also be sure to check out past blog posts; they’re a treasure trove of valuable insights and tips.

– Marc


Opal Marrs writes:

I never hae problems with these misused wiords. I learned them well long ago. One thing bugs me in public speaking that I hope will never show up in the written word – the use of “YOU GUYS”, even when the audience is a mixed male/female audience. Even women are beginning to address each other as ‘YOU GUYS”. This expression is being accepted as a unisex address, but I am a woman and want to be addressed as such. What ever happened to “Ladies and Gentlemen”?

Comment provided April 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM


Vijay Khosla writes:

I have already accepted EzineArticles as a treasure house for the (budding) writers like me via the route of ‘Comments’ published in the well researched articles.

I do make use of many good words learnt from this site in my blog writing.

I love this site and have a great respect for many of the Commentators.


Comment provided April 6, 2012 at 3:26 AM


Salihu S Dikko writes:

These errors are good pointers to whoever finds himself/herself writing to be very mindful of them. They most of the times seem to appear same, but in cases meaning a different thing all together and will affect the meaning of what one is about coming up with.

Comment provided April 9, 2012 at 6:21 AM


Shamshad Naqvi writes:

Thanks for all the effort made by you.Kindly have a look at my profile here.For more information I can give you further reference.I need to improve my English writing skill.I am 63 years old.I am not sure how should I approach you.

Comment provided April 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM


Bob writes:

You misuse a word in one of your explanations above.

You say, “its – Associated with a thing previously mentioned or in reference to an animal without prior knowledge of the animal’s gender.”

The word you misused here is gender. The proper definition of gender refers to “masculine or feminine” but you used it to refer to “male or female.” These are not the same thing.

I believe the word gender is the most misused word in the English language today. This misuse is seen constantly in the news, political speeches, and now blog sites that attempt to teach English.

Comment provided May 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM


Bob –

Thanks for the note. According to the word “gender” can also be used to refer to sex. Please see definition #2 here:

– Marc


Opal writes:

I doubt that any of us would claim to be experts on the English language. I don’t claim that status, but even as a freshman high school student, I graded English papers for my teacher.
Bill, although you are correct in the use of the word media and you make the point correctly that datum is the word’s singular, I think that the word is used now to include newspapers radio, TV magazines and other types of communication. Even the internet might be a medium. Criteria could also mean that an experiment might be based on several as could data. like “much data is gathered for the Census.”
Nina, you are correct when you say, “I lay the book on the table”, ,but if you changed from the present tense to the past tense, you would have to write, “Yesterday I laid the book on that table.”
As for sentence structure, whatever happened to the diagram?
I enjoy discussion because I learn from it. Thanks for all the comments.

Comment provided May 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM


Kiran writes:

Fabulous work !! I’ve never read a blog like this previously. It’s enriching and informative. English is my second language and reading grammar books to gain expertise is tedious. These blogs help us identify and learn about some common errors that are committed unconsciously. Thank you all.

I might not be an expert in English, but I recently identified a word being abused by most in the contemporary email world, predominantly during business discussions.


Two prominent improper usages.

1. Revert back (I will revert back once I complete this research) – Wrong usage.

Revert in itself means “getting back to” or “slip back”. It need not be accompanied by “back”.

2. I will revert to you / Can you revert to me – Wrong usage assuming that revert is an alternative for “respond to” or “reply to”

Correct usage
1. We will revert (go back to the original state) to our family business once this issue is closed.
2. I will respond/get back to you once I study this material (revert is never used in this case)

Apologies if this was discussed earlier and if I am just repeating. I haven’t read the previous blogs.

Comment provided May 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM


Muhammad Ahmad Sheikh writes:

Great job done

Comment provided September 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM


Toni East writes:

Hi there,

This is my first time on this blog.

I really enjoyed reading all these comments.

I am English speaking and went to school in the fifties in a country where English was taught the proper way – learning how to spell properly and grammatically correct!!!

It is interesting to note that what is supposed to be normal has become so difficult, and what is correct in the Queens English language is not correct to the American English language – especially the spelling.

Sadly, I think that cell phone messages are going to make the English Language deteriorate even more and soon all those dreadful short cut words such as cum instead of come will be the norm. I probably waste a lot of money sending messages “long hand”!!

Keep up the good work all you correctly speaking English. It is great to see such a good effort being made(o:

Toni East

Comment provided January 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM


Jean Reynolds writes:

I wouldn’t worry too much about the deterioration of the English language, Toni. Change is inevitable when you’re talking about English. If you take a course in Old English sometime, you’ll be stunned at how drastically the English language had changed by the time of Shakespeare. Genders, conjugations, declensions – many elaborate features were lost forever. Speakers of Old English would have been wringing their hands and weeping if they’d been around to see what happened to their beautiful and poetic language. And yet – look at what Shakespeare was able to do!

Comment provided January 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM


Toni East writes:

I must say I agree with you. When I was in the Uk I loved all the old world of it all and took a photo of a plaque on a house which read “This is Sr Harry Gough’s Houfe 1771”. There were others but this was the best.
Some old books one cannot even read any more, it’s like trying to read another language.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.