- The witness was asked to indite the reasons he thought the grand jury should indict his boss for extortion.
- The truck was mistakenly marked INFLAMMABLE so the firefighters thought the noninflammable material was dangerously flammable. (“Flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing!)
- The tyrant inflicted great hardship on the people. They felt afflicted with his harsh regime.
- Her naive and ingenuous mother expressed amazement that her daughter could create such an ingenious demonstration for the science fair.
- The insidious nature of her argument suggests an invidious comparison.
- There were, for instance, several instances in which the latch failed and the door floor open, just at the the most dangerous instant. [There is rarely an occasion to use the plural of instant, which would be instants.]
- In the intense heat, the team of scientists did an intensive study of the extensive crop damage.
- The scientists were intensely focused on the problem. They studied it intently for months.
- Its and it’s — See above
- Jibe and jive — See gibe
- His income soared during the past three years [not “last”]. Jonathan Swift’s last novel was Gulliver’s Travels. Toni Morrison’s most recent novel was Paradise [but not her “last,” we hope].
- She made a laudatory speech concerning the students’ laudable accomplishments.
- Lawyer — see attorney
- She lays it down, laid it down, has laid it down, is laying it down. (The verb to lay takes an object; to lie doesn’t.)
- She lies down, lay down, has lain down, is lying down
FORMS OF LIE AND LAY person present past perfect form participle form first I lie
I have lain
I am lying
third she lies
she has lain
she is lying
first I lay
I have laid
I am laying
third she lays
she has laid
she is laying
- As he led his soldiers into battle, his feet seemed made of lead.
- Liable and Likely — see apt
- The lightning striking all around them, the sailors proceeded in their task of lightening the cargo. [“Lightning” can also serve as a verb: It was lightning outside. It lightninged all afternoon.
- She is tall like her mother. She is not as tall as her father, though. [Generally, use as to introduce a clause (as her father is tall). This distinction is not as important as some people think.]
- Literally — see figuratively
- I am loath to associate with people who loathe me.
- My shoes are so loose that I’m going to lose them.
- I hope the bank can arrange a loan for me. If not, I hope my sister can lend me some money.
- A luxuriant tropical garden was planted on the grounds of the most luxurious hotel in town.
- It has been raining way too much and for too many days.
- Juan and Maria thought that studying the martial arts, like judo, would improve their marital relationship.
- May — see the definition of modal auxiliaries for help with might and may.
- He hardly deserves a medal (made out of any kind of metal), nor did he show true mettle when he tried to meddle in our affairs.
- The moral of this story is that the morale of a military unit is extremely important.
- In the moribund condition of her government, the empress gave way to morbid reflections on her death.
- My great-great-grandfather, a naval officer in the Civil War, was killed when he was struck in the navel by a cannonball.
- Now that you know that no one is at home, walk right in.
- He made an oral commitment to speak on the biological, aural aspects of listening. He has extraordinary verbal skills. [Many writers insist on a distinction between oral (by mouth) and verbal (having to do with words, written).]
- A palette is that thumb-held device that painters use to mix their colors on. The palate is the roof of your mouth or the sense of taste. And a pallet is either a hard, narrow bed or a device to carry things on.
- Whatever has passed us by is now in the past.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie!
Even Donald couldn’t tell them apart.
- The two lawyers walked around the perimeter of the estate as they discussed the parameters of the case.
- You must have patience in dealing with the patients in this clinic.
- The period of peace between the two wars is an interesting piece of history.
- They climbed to the mountain peak to take a peek at the sunrise. They left in a pique because other climbers were already there.
- The peasant was surprised when the king served him pheasant for dinner.
- He peddled his baskets of flower petals as he pedaled his bike around town.
- We use the word percent as part of a numerical expression (e.g., Only two percent of the students failed.). We use the word percentage to suggest a portion (e.g., The percentage of students who fail has decreased.).
- To carry out or prosecute one’s legal responsibilities is a fine thing; to persecute a fellow citizen is not.
- The personnel office had a great deal of personal information in its files.
- He was poring over his books when he accidently poured coffee all over his papers.
- The new lab seemed practical enough, but building it was hardly practicable in that tiny building.
- In the 1950s, pro basketball was predominantly a game won predominately by teams on the east coast.
- The high school principal said today that the principal problem with today’s youth is their lack of moral principles
- The hyenas seem to pray over their prey before devouring it.
- The lawyer’s memory of precedents seemed to take precedence over his memory of other matters.
- The premier of the new nation was thrilled when he was allowed to attend the film’s premiere.
- Presently — see currently
- We will now proceed to the part that should precede the ending.
- Jeremiah would prophesy whenever he felt the people needed to hear a prophecy. [N.B. There is no such word as prophesize.]
- He collapsed forward, prostrate on the floor, when he heard that he had cancer of the prostate gland.
- The troops moved purposefully toward their doom, relying on the false information their leaders had purposely given them.
- We’ll have to be quite quiet. Quit making noise!
- She often quoted Shakespeare, using quotations [not quotes] when it sometimes seemed quite inappropriate.
- They studied racist attitudes in the new course on racial studies.
- Rack — see wrack
- He threw his tennis racquet across the court and his fans started making a terrific racket. The mafia was running several rackets
in Chicago at the time. [Racquet can also be spelled racket.]
- During the reign of Charles I, it was against the law to use a leather rein during the rain.
- Yesterday she read from the red book instead of the blue one.
- These sociologists made a really important contribution to our understanding of some real problems in urban America.
- He knew that he would grow to resent the public’s interest in his recent escapades.
- The actors bowed respectfully to the royal couple and then to the people in the audience and to their friends backstage, respectively.
- We wept with joy as we read the famous critic’s review of our new musical revue.
Nguồn: Guide to Grammar and Writing