The usage depends on the sound
of the word that "a" or "an" is placed in front of.
should be placed before all words that start with a consonant sound except
the silent "h" and a vowel with a consonant & vowel sound combination. The word "an" belongs in front of every
vowel sound. This usage is abused on the Internet in an enormous way.
a toy, a situation, a musical event, a choice, a horn ("h" is not silent),
a utility pole (consonant & vowel sound combination)
an honorary member (silent "h"), an apple, an embryo
I'm still confused by the correct usage of affect and effect. When I have a need to use one of them, I look it up.
Affect, always a verb,
means to influence, to assume, to pretend, to be given to.
influence: The book will affect my thoughts about holiday
can be both a verb
and a noun.
The noun version expresses a result. The verb version means to
cause or bring about.
Example of result
(noun): This paper shows the effects of the
Example of cause
(verb): An overthrow will effect a tyranny in
allude means to refer indirectly or casually and
is followed by the word "to."
to slip away from; to dodge.
delusion, elusion, illusion:
an indirect reference or mention. Example:
"Sue made an allusion to the main character in a novel she was
is a false belief, usually a result of
"Sue is experiencing delusions of a life as a royal princess."
Elusion (rarely used
word) means an escape. Example:
"Your absence is an elusion of your obligations to the firm."
(related in meaning to delusion but less likely to be as harmful or serious)
refers to a false mental image or idea. Example:
"Sue has illusions that she is a supermodel."
someone who opposes another in a fight. Example:
"The two friends became
antagonists on the tennis court." In
literature the antagonist is the
opponent of the main character.
first combatant. A protagonist is the principal or central character
against whom an antagonist will conduct a fight.
Capital can be all meanings except a building. Example: "Sue raised the capital to
build a new pool." Capitol is a building. Example:
"We drove through the capital, passed the state capitol, and got back
onto the freeway."
from climax, the final and most forceful one of a series of ideas or
events. Example: "The
exploding bridge was the climactic scene of the movie."
to weather. Example: "Sue
prefers the climatic features of Miami."
for dropping the negative part of the phrase.
hardly drive through the blizzard.
of: as well as may of, might of,
should of, and would of are illiteracies.
Example of correction: I could have done the job alone.
means extraordinary, uncommon,
to accuse or charge with a crime.
Indite means to write, compose.
means inventive, resourceful, talented, imaginative.
means naive, frank, unsophisticated, artless.
means the same as ingenuous but implies amusement to the user but to the
cruel; brutal; lacking normal human compassion, pity, sympathy, and
not human; without the characteristics of human beings.
the past tense and past participle of lay - to set down; to put or place in
a horizontal position. Example: Sue laid her blouse on the bed.
the past participle of lie - to be in a prostrate position. Example: My pup has lain down by my feet
every night this week.
to a great extent; generally; in great part. Example:
The demonstration was largely done to express the examples of the author.
principally; mainly; essentially. Example: The intentions are chiefly good
to place and requires an object. Lay down the law; lay of the land;
lay down one's life; etc..
to recline and does not require an object. Lie down on the job; lie
low; take lying down; etc..
are interchangeable only when accompanied by the word
"alone." Example: leave
to go away from; to cause to remain.
to allow; to permit; to cause.
- You should use
the word "easier" and drop the word "more."
More better - You
should use the word "better" and drop the word "more."
to put; to place. Example: Would
you set the papers on that desk?
to place oneself. Example:
I'd love to sit next to you.
Use shall in the
first person and will in the second and third person to express future
time. I (we) shall talk to you soon. You (he, they) will go
Use will in the
first person and shall in the second and third person to express command or
determination. I will enter the room no matter what you tell me.
You shall (must) go.
It doesn't make sense to announce that someone is going to their
house. The word "someone" is singular and the word
"their" is plural.
The proper way to say it is: someone is going to
his/her house. Or if one already knows the sex of the person being
talked about, you may limit it to either his or her.
or not: Usually the or not
isn't necessary, however it is necessary when saying: I will go whether you
like it or not. A way to determine whether "or not"
is needed, substitute the word "if" for the word
"whether" and if the "if" causes a different meaning,
then "or not" is needed.
Use who (or whoever) as the subject of a verb or as a predicate pronoun and
use whom (whomever) as the object of a verb or preposition.
a shortcut for who is.
the possessive case of the pronoun who.