Tag Archives: Verbs

How to use “provided that”

The phrase “provided that” has numerous possible meanings, which can result in ambiguity if it is not used properly.   First of all, “provided that” can simply be a verb + conjunction combination. This is a common structure in legal … Continue reading

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How to use “provide for”

“Provide for” can be a phrasal verb or simply a verb + preposition combination. Here are some examples of “provide for” as a verb + preposition combination: I will provide the wine for the meal. We care about the service … Continue reading

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How to be polite in English

Non-native English speakers sometimes sound abrupt and impolite to native English speakers. This is because they often use language that is too direct, and does not have the correct “distance” from the hearer or reader. It is therefore important to use … Continue reading

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The differences (and similarities) between “compose” and “comprise”

Non-native speakers of English are not the only ones who regularly confuse these words or use them incorrectly. Unfortunately, native speakers are equally guilty of mistakes. Here’s how to use them correctly: “compose” – to make up, i.e. the parts … Continue reading

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The difference between “consist of” and “consist in”

Until relatively recently I was not aware of the difference between “consist of” and “consist in”. This is probably because among native English speakers “consist in” is very infrequently used in comparison to “consist of”, which is relatively common. In … Continue reading

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The difference between “affect” and “effect”

Generally speaking, the difference is this: “affect” is a verb meaning to have an influence on, to cause a change in something (often negative), “effect” is a noun meaning a result. So, for example: If an area is affected by flooding, … Continue reading

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How to use the word “control”

“Control” can be either a noun or a verb. It is commonly misused in both instances. “Control” as a noun WRONG As the Branch is an organisational part of the Company, the public authorities may ask for these documents in … Continue reading

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Is it OK to split infinitives?

One of the most famous examples of a split infinitive is in the introduction of the original Star Trek TV series: “to boldly go where no man has gone before”. The infinitive “to go” has been split by the addition … Continue reading

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How to use “prevent”, “prohibit” and “ban”

WRONG The Lease does not provide for a period of time during which the Tenant is prevented to use the Premises. RIGHT The Lease does not provide for a period of time during which the Tenant is prevented from using … Continue reading

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How to translate “sprecyzować”

“Sprecyzować” CANNOT be translated as “precise”. “Precise” is an adjective (przymiotnik), while “sprecyzować” is a verb (czasownik). Nonetheless, mistakes like the one below are very common: WRONG The agreement does not precise which of its terms survive its termination. I … Continue reading

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