Grammer is tough. Even if you’re a native English speaker, understanding it and properly executing the language are two very different things. It’s so tough that there are lists of words that bloggers commonly misuse.

So stop beating yourself up over the occasional grammatical error and instead take five minutes to look over our list. We promise you’ll learn something new!

Misused Words

Advice/Advise: To advise, one needs to first have some advice to give.

Affect/Effect: Affecting change can have a positive effect.

Altogether/All together: When he saw his family all together, he was altogether touched that they planned the surprise.

Altar/Alter: It’s considered disrespectful to alter anything on the church’s altar.

Among/Between: Between the two of them, Sarah had a harder time finding her socks among the others.

Assure/Ensure/Insure: I assure you that your mom has ensured that your sister insured her car.

Bare/Bear: I can’t bear it any longer, I need to tell her that I can see her bare bottom in that skirt.

Brake/Break: After slamming on her brakes and colliding with the pole, Sam was lucky she didn’t break a bone.

Capital/Capitol: The capitol building is based in the US capital, D.C.

Complement/Compliment: It’s a compliment that the chef said that your wine pairing complemented the meal.

Criteria/Criterion: After looking at all the criteria, only one criterion stood out as absurd.

Discreet/Discrete: Without hurting his feelings, I tried to discretely explain the discrete difference between apples and oranges.

Elicit/Illicit: In an attempt to elicit a response from the students, the principal made it illicit to bring cell phones to school.

Emigrate/Immigrate: John emigrated from Russia and then immigrated to the United States.

E.g./I.e.: Sarah has many hobbies (e.g. biking, singing, shopping) which is why she forgets to feed her pet rabbit i.e. Fluffy.

Every Day/Everyday: Every day, my dad puts his chapstick in the back pocket of his everyday jeans.

Farther/Further: Jim was farther away from the door but was further away from understanding what had just happened.

Fewer/Less: In fewer than 10 words, tell us why you’re less likely to shop at Walmart than Target.

It’s/Its: It’s a big deal that Molly will attend the signing of her favorite book and meet its author.

Lay/Lie: Lay your book on the table before you lie down for a nap.

Loath/Loathe: He was loath to admit that he loathed his stepmom because he didn’t want to hurt his dad’s feelings.

Pole/Poll: After election day was over, the polls were closed and the buildings we secured by placing poles over the doors.

Premier/Premiere: At the movie premiere, Mark was on his premier behavior.

Than/Then: Back then, your place in society mattered more than anything else.

Their/There/They’re: It’s a good thing that they’re not here because we just found their dog over there a minute ago.

To/Too: In addition to bringing my backpack, can you please bring my notepad, too?

Who’s/Whose: Whose purse is this and who’s ringing the doorbell?

Now that you’ve learned something new (maybe!), you’re well on your way to impressing your friends, family, and colleagues by using all of the above words correctly! Happy writing!

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Jaclyn is the latest addition to the Six Stories team and will use her business background to help with project management, content creation and social media marketing.

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