Tag Archives: Verbs

“To lie” and “to lay”

The verb “to lie” can mean two things: to deliberately tell untruths – e.g. Don’t lie to me! to be in a horizontal recumbent position – e.g. Lie down and relax. Confusion arises – also among many native speakers of … Continue reading

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How to use the phrase “a number of…”

WRONG There is a number of possible solutions that we can discuss. RIGHT There are a number of possible solutions that we can discuss. WRONG A number of protesters was seen outside the premises. RIGHT A number of protesters were … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Common mistakes with the Present Perfect tense

The Present Perfect tense is made up of have/has and the past participle of a verb: He has eaten all the chocolates. I have included your amendments in the draft agreement. It is perhaps the most difficult of all verb … Continue reading

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How to translate “ujawnić”

“Ujawnić” seems to have various meanings and can be translated into numerous different words in English. Unfortunately most people regularly choose the wrong word. Here’s a typical example: POLISH W dziale I-Sp księgi wieczystej nr WA4M/00847639/5 ujawnione zostało prawo użytkowania … Continue reading

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“Prepare for” or “prepare to”?

WRONG She spent three hours preparing to the court hearing. RIGHT She spent three hours preparing for the court hearing. This is a very common mistake. But “prepare” is not always followed by “for”. Sometimes “to” is correct. The rule … Continue reading

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The “family is” or the “family are”?

Collective nouns are words that describe groups of people or things, e.g. “family” or “team”. Grammatically they are singular, but as they describe more than one individual, they may also take the plural form of a verb or use a … Continue reading

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