Words Menu Comments
Spelling - This word is misspelled.
One Word - This should be one word.
Two Words - This should be two words.
Wrong Word - Based on the context of the sentence, this isn’t the right word.
Better Word - Choose a better word to more clearly or effectively convey this point.
Familiar Words - Using words with which you are familiar will strengthen your writing and make it easier for your reader to understand.
A, An, and The
Singular - The word should be singular.
a - Use ''a'' in front of singular count nouns that begin with a consonant except when a word begins with a silent ''h'' (then use ''an'' ).
an - Use ''an'' in front of singular count nouns that begin with a vowel except when the word begins with a ''u'' and sounds like you (e.g., union (then use ''a'' ).
the - Use ''the'' in front of nouns that refer to a specific person, place, or thing.
no the - Do not use ''the'' when referring to certain types of things (I am going to play baseball rather than I am going to play THE baseball).
Much, Little, This, and That
much - Use ''much'' with noncount nouns (e.g., much money).
little - Use ''little'' with noncount nouns (e.g., little education).
this - Use ''this'' in front of singular nouns that are close in proximity (time or space) to the speaker.
that - Use ''that'' in front of singular nouns that are distant in proximity (time or space) to the speaker.
Many, Few, These, Those
Plural - The word should be plural.
many - Use ''many'' with count nouns (e.g., many dogs).
few - Use ''few'' with count nouns (e.g., few reasons).
these - Use ''these'' in front of plural nouns that are close in proximity (time or space) to the speaker.
those - Use ''those'' in front of plural nouns that are distant in proximity (time or space) to the speaker.
Add -es - Add -es to create the plural form of nouns that end in -s, -x, -ch, -sh, or -z.
End in -f or -fe (-ves) - For some nouns that end in -f or -fe remove the ending (-f or -fe) and add -ves to create the plural form of the word.
End in -o (-es) - For some nouns that end in -o, you have to add -es to create the plural form of the word.
End in -ix or -ex (-ices) - For some nouns that end in -ix or -ex remove the ending and add -ices to create the plural form of the word.
End in -is (-es) - For some nouns that end in -is remove the ending and add -es to create the plural form of the word.
More Noun Endings
End in -a (-e) - For some nouns that end in -a add an e to create the plural form of the word.
End in -us (-i) - For some nouns that end in -us remove the ending and add -i to create the plural form of the word.
End in -um (-a) - For some nouns that end in -um remove the ending and add -a to create the plural form of the word.
End in -on (-a) - For some nouns that end in -on remove the ending and add -a to create the plural form of the word.
Noun Sound - For some nouns, you have to change the noun sound to create the plural form of the word.
Same Same - For some nouns, the plural form and the singular form are identical.
Only Plural - Some nouns only occur in the plural form.
Noncount Nouns - Noncount (abstract) nouns must be referred to in types, varieties, or amounts to use the plural form.
Possessive or Not
Possessive - Use the possessive noun form.
No Apostrophe - An apostrophe is used to make a word possessive; this word should not have an apostrophe.
There-Their-They're - ''There'' refers to a place or direction (there was a dog crossing the road). ''Their'' is a plural possessive pronoun. ''They're'' is the contraction for 'they are'.
Who's-Whose - ''Who's'' is the contraction for who is. ''Whose'' is possessive that permits the reference to things as well as people.
You're-Your - ''You're'' is the contraction for you are. ''Your'' is the possessive form of you.
Its Its Its - ''It's'' means it is. ''Its'' is a possessive pronoun, like my or hers. '' Its' '' is not a word.
Grammar and Usage
Affect-Effect - Most of the time, ''affect'' is a verb and ''effect'' is a noun. Exceptions are rare.
Can-Could - ''Could'' is used to express uncertainty of ability or commitment. ''Can'' is used to express confidence of ability.
Can-May - ''Can'' is used to express confidence of ability or in casual language a request for permission. ''May'' is used to express the probability of ability or event or a request for permission in formal writing.
Who-That-Which - ''Who'' refers to a person, ''that'' and ''which'' refer to an animal or a thing.
Who-Whom - ''Whom'' is used when the sentence refers to a person as a him or her (e.g., object of a preposition or a transitive verb), ''who'' is used when the sentence refers to a person as a he or she (i.e., everywhere you do not use ''whom.''
One Word or Two
A lot - This is two words, not one (a lot).
Already-All Ready - ''Already'' refers to time (e.g., I already cleaned my room); ''all ready'' is an indication of preparation (The students are all ready for the exam).
Alright-All Right - ''All right'' means adequate or satisfactory. ''Alright'' is not a word.
Anyone-Any One - ''Anyone'' is a singular pronoun that is typically used to ascribe an action or characteristic to all people (e.g., anyone would have opened that door). ''Any one'' is a more dramatic version of any that refers to a person or group.
Capital-Capitol - ''Capital'' refers to the seat of government (Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina). ''Capitol'' is used to refer to the building where legislators meet.
Compliment-Complement - ''Compliment'' means to praise (verb) or is a positive remark (noun). ''Complement'' means to complete or to add to in a different way (verb) or something\someone that completes or adds to in a different way (noun).
Discreet-Discrete - ''Discreet'' means prudent or circumspect. ''Discrete'' means separate or distinct.
e.g. - i.e. - Use ''e.g.'' to clarify a preceding statement by citing an example. Use ''i.e.'' to clarify a preceding statement by expanding or restating the statement more specifically.
Elicit-Illicit - ''Elicit'' is a verb that means to draw out or encourage a response. ''Illicit'' is an adjective that means illegal, inappropriate, or immoral.
Ingenious-Ingenuous - ''Ingenious'' means clever, intelligent, creative. ''Ingenuous'' means simple, innocent, or unsuspecting.
Lose-Loose - To ''lose'' something is to misplace it (e.g., keys) or have it taken away (e.g., privileges). ''Loose'' is used to communicate something\someone is completely free.
Peak-Peek-Pique - ''Peak'' is an apex. ''Peek'' is a quick glance. ''Pique'' means to arouse interest or agitation.
Principle-Principal - A ''principle'' is a rule of legal, moral, or natural origin. A ''principal'' is a person in a position of authority, such as the head of an elementary school.
Site-Sight-Cite - ''Site'' is a place or website. ''Sight'' is a noun that refers to the capability of seeing, a device to aid the eye, or something worth seeing (the capitol is a sight worth seeing). ''Cite'' refers to the source of information (noun) or to refer to the source of information (verb).
Tenant-Tenet - A ''tenant'' is a person or organization that occupies a property rented from a landlord. A ''tenet'' is a principle or belief, such as in a religion.
Then-Than - Improper use of then or than. ''Then'' is related to time. ''Than'' is used to make comparative statements.