English is a very rich language with many more words than most languages have – however, even with so many words to choose from there are many instances where one or more sound the same, but mean something different. Here are the most common words that are misused.
Complimentary – when someone has said something nice about you OR a free gift or service.
Complementary – something that comes together with another item to make a whole, the other part of something.
Lose – mislay; the opposite of found
Loose – able to move about; the opposite of tight
Affect – Verb; to take on the attitude or character of something.
Effect – noun; the result of something happening;
Verb; to carry out.
Your – belonging to
You’re – contraction of ‘you are’;
There – that place
Their - belonging to them
They’re – contraction of ‘they are’
Discrete – separate, unconnected.
Discreet – Being able to keep something quiet, subtle, unlikely to gossip.
Choosing the wrong word can impact on your reader’s opinion of your ability to deliver good quality services. It can also distract the reader from what you are trying to say as they start thinking about the fact that you have made an error instead of concentrating on your message.
If in doubt, check it out – use a dictionary – I do this all the time!
Sign up on the right and get your free reports, tips and information that will help you get your message across in writing.
You can also find us on +44 (0) 1245 473296 or on Skype ‘lesleywriter’