To is a preposition which begins a prepositional phrase or an infinitive. Too is an adverb meaning "excessively" or "also." Two is a number.
Examples: We went to a baseball game. (preposition) We like to watch a good ball game. (infinitive) We ate too much. (meaning "excessively") I like baseball, too. (meaning "also") Six divided by three is two. (number) They own two Brittany spaniels. (number)
Their is a possessive pronoun. It always describes a noun. Note the spelling of their. It comes from the word they, so the e comes before the i. There is an adverb meaning "that location.“ It is spelled like here which means "this location." They're is a contraction of “they are”. Note the spelling: The a from are is replaced by an apostrophe.
Examples: Their dog has fleas. (possessive of they) I put the collar right there. (that location) There are five prime numbers less than ten. (with to be) They're 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7. (contraction of they are)
Its is the possessive pronoun; it modifies a noun. It's is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”.
Incorrect: The mother cat carried it's kitten in it's mouth. (Possessive pronoun, no apostrophe) Correct: The mother cat carried its kitten in its mouth. Correct: I think it's going to rain today. (Contraction of it is) Correct: It's been a very long time. (Contraction of it has)
Set means to "put in a certain place." It is normally followed by a direct object, that is, it acts upon something else. It is transitive. Sit means "to be seated." It is always intransitive.
Incorrect: Set down on this chair. Correct: Sit down on this chair. Incorrect: Sit the money on the counter. Correct: Set the money on the counter. Set or sit plus a reflexive pronoun--"Set yourself down" or "Sit yourself down"--is nonstandard Set does not always take a direct object; for example, we speak of a hen or the sun setting.
Lay means "to place something down." It is something you do to something else. Incorrect: Lie the book on the table. Correct: Lay the book on the table. (It is being done to something else.) Lie means "to recline" or "be placed." It does not act on anything or anyone else. Incorrect: Lay down on the couch. Correct: Lie down on the couch. (It is not being done to anything else.)
The reason lay and lie are confusing is their past tenses. The past tense of lay is laid. The past tense of lie is lay. Incorrect: I lay it down here yesterday. Correct: I laid it down here yesterday. (It is being done to something else.) Incorrect: Last night I laid awake in bed. Correct: Last night I lay awake in bed. (It is not being done to anything else.) The past participle of lie is lain. The past participle of lay is like the past tense, laid. Examples: I could have lain in bed all day. They have laid an average of 500 feet of sewer line a day.sewer line Layed is a misspelling and does not exist. Use laid.
Generally speaking, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, you produce an effect on it. Even in the passive voice, something would be affected, not effected. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Example: What effect did the loss have on the team? Example: The prescribed medication had no effect on the patient's symptoms. Example: How does the crime rate affect hiring levels by local police forces? Example: The weather conditions will affect the number of people who come to the county fair this year.
Can as an auxiliary verb means "to be able to." May as an auxiliary verb means "to be permitted to." Incorrect: Can we talk? (Well, if you can say it, you are able to talk!) Correct: May we talk? Correct: We may talk if you can listen to my side.
Leave means "to allow to remain." Let simply means "to allow" or "to permit." Incorrect: Let him alone! Correct: Leave him alone! (Allow him to remain alone.) Incorrect: Leave me do it again. Correct: Let me do it again. (Allow me to do it.)
Learning is what pupils/students do. Teaching is what teachers do. Example: She is teaching her how to ice skate. Example: The girl is learning how to ice skate.
Accept means "to receive." Except is usually a preposition meaning "but" or "leaving out." However, except can also be a verb meaning "to leave out."
As verbs, accept and except are nearly antonyms, so the difference is important! Examples: He accepted the gift. (He received it.) He excepted the twins. (He did not include them.) Everyone except Bill. (All but Bill.)
Capital has multiple meanings: (1) a city that serves as the seat of government; (2) wealth in the form of money or property; (3) an asset or advantage; (4) a capital letter (the type of letter used at the beginning of a sentence). Capitol refers to the building in which a legislative assembly meets. (Remember that the o in capitol is like the o in the dome of a capitol.)
Examples: The dome of the United States Capitol may well be the most famous man-made landmark in America. Juneau is the capital of Alaska. Practice: (a) The United States Capitol is the ______ building that serves as the location for the United States Congress. (b) It is located in Washington, D.C., the ______ of the United States.
Principal is an adjective meaning "most important" or "main" OR a noun designating "the main or chief one." Thus, the principal sum of money on which one draws interest is the principal, and the principal person in a school is the principal. Principle It is a noun only. referring to a fundamental law or concept or to a code of conduct, often used in the plural, as in "moral principles." Once we grasp this principle, we are less likely to confuse these words.
between when you are writing about two things among when you are writing about more than two things. The guard stood between the door and the street. Just between you and me, I’m surprised that a graduate of Yale wouldn’t speak better English.
We wandered among the poppies, looking for the road to Oz. Let’s keep this information among ourselves. A common error is to use between where among is more appropriate: I was one of eight brothers. Our parents never made any difference between us. Better: Our parents never made any difference among us.
Raise means "to make higher," "build," or "nurture and cause to grow.“ the action is done to something or someone else. Rise means "to get up" or "become elevated." The past tense is rose; the past participle, risen. Examples: They raised the barn in two days. The sun rises and sets every day.
When something is standing still, it’s stationary. That piece of paper you write a letter on is stationery. Let the “E” in “stationery” remind you of “envelope.”
Good is an adjective and well is an adverb. Examples: I did good on the test. INCORRECT! – Correct form: I did well on the test. She played the game good. INCORRECT! – Correct form: She played the game well.
Use the adjective form good when describing something or someone. In other words, use good when stating how something or someone is. Examples: She is a good tennis player. Tom thinks he is a good listener. Use the adverb form well when describing how something or someone does something. Examples: She did extremely well on the exam. Our parents think we speak English well.