Confusing Words

Their

There

They’re



Basics
In the Reasoning Through Language Arts module, there will be questions asking you to distinguish between confusing words, including (but not necessarily limited to) the following:

 

accept = receive
The winner accepted the trophy.
except = but
I will keep all the fruit except the bad apple.

affect = influence
The screaming fans affected the concentration of the opposing team.
effect = result
The effect of the recession was a drop in home prices.

allude = make an indirect reference
The modern play alluded to the works of Shakespeare.
elude = avoid
The criminal eluded the police.

allusion = indirect reference
In his speech, the politician made an allusion to the Declaration of Independence.
illusion = false impression
The old man suffered under the illusion he could run a mile under four minutes.

capital = city in which government is located
The capital of Kansas is Topeka.
capitol = building in which legislature meets
The lawmakers met inside the capitol.

cite = quote
The judge cited the Constitution in making his decision.
site = location
The workers are meeting at the construction site.
sight = vision
The blind woman lost her sight.

complement = something that completes
The side dish complemented the main course.
compliment = praise
The satisfied customer complimented the chef.

elicit = bring forth
The talk show host elicited a strong reaction from her audience.
illicit = illegal
The drug dealer engaged in illicit acts.

farther = physical distance
The nomads had to travel farther.
further = to a greater extent
The scientists had to do further research.

its = possessor
The car spun its wheels.
it’s = it is
Betty decided that it’s a beautiful day.

lay = place an object
I will lay my groceries on the kitchen table.
lie = recline
I am tired, so I am going to lie in bed.

lose = misplace
Because Bob has a hole in his pocket, he might lose his car keys.
loose = not fastened
Because the lug nuts were loose, the wheel fell off.

manner = way of doing things
The clerk worked in an efficient manner.
manor = fancy house
The king and queen will spend the weekend at their manor.

passed = went by
The fast car passed the slow car.
past = in a previous time
George Washington was the president in the past.

pore = tiny opening
The hot sun made Bob sweat through the pores in his skin.
pour = make flow
Betty poured the rest of the coffee down the drain.

principal = most important
The principal way the football team lost the game was through fumbles.
principle = rule
One of the principles of democracy is freedom for all.

stationary = standing still
Without wind, the flag was stationary.
stationery = paper products
Bob wrote a letter on fine stationery.

to = preposition. often part of a prepositional phrase
Bob went to the park.
too = expresses an extreme
Betty got too little sleep.
two = number
Bob and Betty are two people.

than = comparison
Bob is taller than Bill.
then = point in time
Then we will be able to go home.

their = possessor
The skaters lost their hockey sticks.
there
= place
Let’s sit down over there.
they’re = they are
They’re watching television.

through = by means of
Bob earned a raise through his own hard work.
threw = hurled
The pitcher threw the ball.
thorough = complete
Jane did a thorough job of cleaning up her room.
though = however
Bob wished his raise was higher, though.

weather = climate
The weather is cold.
whether = choice
Bob did not know whether to go outside or stay inside.

were = past
They were in the restaurant, before they left for the show.
where = place
Where is your calculator?
we’re = we are
We’re glad you came to the party.

who = person
The lady who won the lottery bought only one ticket.
that = thing
The car that Bob is driving was bought at the auto show.
which = thing, usually preceded by a comma
The apple cider, which Bob bought yesterday, has already soured.

who = subject
Bob is the guy who bought the car.
whom = object
The guy whom the auctioneer noticed ended up buying the car.

whose = possessor
We need to figure out whose wallet was left behind.
who’s = who is
Who’s playing first base?

your = possessor
I like your new car.
you’re = you are
You’re lucky to have won the lottery.

 


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The excited children are going two the zoo.
(B)  The excited children are going too the zoo.
(C)  The excited children are going to the zoo.
(D)  The excited children are going toe the zoo.

Answer
(C)  The excited children are going to the zoo.

Answer Process
to = preposition, often part of a prepositional phrase


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The baseball players placed there bats in the dugout.
(B)  The baseball players placed they’re bats in the dugout.
(C)  The baseball players placed they are bats in the dugout.
(D)  The baseball players placed their bats in the dugout.

Answer
(D)  The baseball players placed their bats in the dugout.

Answer Process
their = possessor


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The police went to the cite of the crime.
(B)  The police went to the sight of the crime.
(C)  The police went to the citey of the crime.
(D)  The police went to the site of the crime.

Answer
(D)  The police went to the site of the crime.

Answer Process
site = location

 


Practice – Questions
1.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  I saw the man who’se car was stolen.
(B)  I saw the man who’s car was stolen.
(C)  I saw the man who is car was stolen.
(D)  I saw the man whose car was stolen.

2.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
(B)  Its’a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
(C)  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
(D)  Itsa beautiful day in the neighborhood.

3.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  We’re going over there.
(B)  Were going over their.
(C)  Where going over they’re.
(D)  We are going over they are.

4.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  Bob traveled a long distance to the beach.
(B)  Bob traveled a long distance too the beach.
(C)  Bob traveled a long distance two the beach.
(D)  Bob traveled a long distance t’o the beach.

5.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The hero accepted the complement.
(B)  The hero excepted the compliment.
(C)  The hero excepted the complement.
(D)  The hero accepted the compliment.

6.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The team did not want to lost the game.
(B)  The team did not want to loosed the game.
(C)  The team did not want to lose the game.
(D)  The team did not want to loose the game.

7.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The pours in the salt shaker had the desired affect.
(B)  The pores in the salt shaker had the desired effect.
(C)  The pores in the salt shaker had the desired affect.
(D)  The pours in the salt shaker had the desired effect.

8.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The car past the stationary fire hydrant.
(B)  The car passed the stationery fire hydrant.
(C)  The car past the stationery fire hydrant.
(D)  The car passed the stationary fire hydrant.

9.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  You’re lucky to have someone whom cares.
(B)  Your lucky to have someone who cares.
(C)  You’re lucky to have someone whom cares.
(D)  You’re lucky to have someone who cares.

10.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The principle reason the picnic was postponed was the weather.
(B)  The principal reason the picnic was postponed was the weather.
(C)  The principal reason the picnic was postponed was the whether.
(D)  The principle reason the picnic was postponed was the whether.


Practice – Answers
1.  (D)  I saw the man whose car was stolen.

2.  (C)  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

3.  (A)  We’re going over there.

4.  (A)  Bob traveled a long distance to the beach.

5.  (D)  The hero accepted the compliment.

6.  (C)  The team did not want to lose the game.

7.  (B)  The pores in the salt shaker had the desired effect.

8.  (D)  The car passed the stationary fire hydrant.

9.  (D)  You’re lucky to have someone who cares.

10.  (B)  The principal reason the picnic was postponed was the weather.

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