Category Archives: Uncategorized

Whether (or not)

WRONG We must decide by the end of the month whether or not we’re going to do it. This is an example of a very common mistake. In this sentence “or not” is unnecessary. RIGHT We must decide by the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Pairing adverbs and adjectives

Have a look at this sentence: I have noticed that paragraphs 81 and 82 are virtually similar to paragraphs 5 and 6. “Virtually similar” is incorrect because “virtually” is a non-grading adverb and “similar” is a gradable adjective. “Very similar” … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The difference between “currently” and “presently”

Many people – native English speakers included – are confused by the word “presently”. In UK English it has traditionally been a formal, literary word which means “in a short time”, “soon” or “before long” – in contrast to “currently”, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The difference between “practice” and “practise”

In British English – like “licence/license” and “advice/advise” – “practice” is a NOUN and “practise” is a VERB: NOUN Safeguarding clients’ personal data should be standard practice in the company. He has been a lawyer for many years, but he … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The difference between “licence” and “license”

“Licence” is the British English NOUN – The bar has received a licence to sell alcohol. “License” is the British English VERB – We are now licensed to sell alcohol. You can remember this because it is the same as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The difference between “prescribe” and “proscribe”

The verbs “prescribe” and “proscribe” are very close in spelling and pronunciation but almost opposites in meaning. Don’t get them confused! “Prescribe” means “stipulate” or “order”. Perhaps the most common usage is in the field of medicine – where a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The difference between “commitment” and “commission” (and “committee” and “committal”)

The verb “commit” has numerous related noun forms: commitment, commission, committal and committee. Many people – native English speakers included – do not know all the differences between them. A criminal “commits a crime”. But we cannot talk about the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment