Tag Archives: confusing words

Quiz: Fixing Most Common Mistakes Seen in Intermediate Written Exams

I must be doing something wrong. On second thought, perhaps my students are doing something wrong.

Do you know when your mum tells you off over and over again for not tidying your room and you just nod your head, promise it will never happen again and then, for some unknown reason, you seem unable to keep your promise? My students do it all the time. It’s called being nice. They are very nice, but being nice won’t help them pass exams.

So, you highlight the mistake, explain why it is a mistake, ask students if they have understood, they nod their head and  say they do, you elicit some examples and  give them exercises to consolidate and when you think you have seen the last of this mistake, here it is again, sticking its tongue out at you.

Below you’ll find a quiz with some of these very persistent mistakes students at intermediate level, and probably above, make.

This is how I suggest you do this quiz

  1. Do the quiz. Obviously 🙂
  2. Read the grammar and do the exercises when provided.
  3. For spelling mistakes: try to remember the words commonly misspelt featured in the quiz and write them down with the correct spelling.
  4. Grammar mistakes: Do you remember the mistakes? Can you remember why they were wrong? Write a sentence for each of the mistakes you can remember.
  5. Do the quiz again and correct your own sentences and the spelling of the words now.
  6. Were there any grammar or spelling mistakes you could not remember? Repeat numbers 3, 4 and 5.

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Quiz: Fixing Most Common Mistakes Seen in Intermediate Written Exams

Ready to start the quiz? Here we go! Which of these sentences is correct?

I am interested in participate in a seminar

I am interested in participating in a seminar

Which of these sentences is correct? Don’t forget to read the grammar and do the exercises

There are a lot of meals that they are easy to cook

There are a lot of meals that are easy to cook

There are a lot of meals they are easy to cook

Another very frequent mistake. Which is correct?

From my point of view is very difficult to be the boss.

From my point of view, it is very difficult to be the boss.

Let’s try spelling now! Which is correct?

possible

posible

accommodationaccomodation
helpfulhelpfull

Ready for the next grammar mistake? Which is correct?

I don’t mind sharing it with other family

I don’t mind sharing it with another family

Think hard! Which is correct? Choose and then read the grammar and do the exercises

I would like to know how much does it cost

I would like to know how much it costs

Let’s see vocabulary now. Which is correct?

My mother is a great cook

My mother is a great cooker

Concentrate! Which is correct?

I prefer stay in a hotel

I prefer to stay in a hotel

And now, what do you say?

I couldn’t find the information on your website

I couldn’t find the information in your website

Let’s go for spelling again. Which one is correct?

comfortable

confortable

definitelydefinetely

Which is correct?

business

bussines

What’s the plural of “life”

lifes

lives

Let’s focus on articles now. Which is correct?

I strongly believe that the fast food is not healthy

I strongly believe that fast food is not healthy

Which is correct?

The dates of the seminar are not enough clear

The dates of the seminar are not clear enough

What do you say?

I am completely agree wih you

I completely agree with you

Think hard! What do you say?

Fast food is becoming very popular

Fast food it is becoming very popular

What’s the opposite of the adjective “polite”?

Impolite

Unpolite

Which is correct?

Everybody loves you

Everybody love you

What’s the correct spelling?

greatful

grateful

And now?

successful

sucessful

Which is correct?

neccesary

necessary

What do you say? At or in?

They arrived in London yesterday

They arrived at London yesterday

Which is correct in this context? Don’t forget to read the grammar and do the exercises.

In the end we decided to cancel the trip

At the end we decided to cancel the trip

Which preposition collocates with “depend”?

It depends on her

It depends from her

It depends of her

What do you say? Choose the correct answer and then read the grammar and do the exercises

The mountains were covered with snow

The mountains were covered by snow

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You might be interested in doing these other quizzes

Word of the Day: Bring Up and Educate

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

These two words can be a bit confusing for some learners as in some languages the translation is the same, for example in Spanish.

  • BRING UP is used for the moral and social training that children receive at home. The noun is upbringing.
  • EDUCATE is used for the intellectual and cultural training people get at school and university. The noun is education.

EXAMPLES

I was brought up by my grandmother.

She was brought up as a Catholic

Her strict upbringing shaped her whole life

My mother was educated at a private school

His lack of education prevented him from getting a good job.

NOTE: Don’t confuse being educated with having good manners. 

Ex from WikiHow

If you want to have good manners, then you have to master dining etiquette, phone etiquette, as well as to learn basic etiquette, which includes being polite and holding doors for people.

 

Confusing Words: Finally,In the End, Eventually, Lastly and At Last

Yes, I know, these connectors can be quite confusing; that’s why I have created this beautiful presentation to help you clarify them . I just hope the explanation doesn’t mix you up more. And it’s also, with this mind, the reason why a quiz follows the explanation. Beautifully presented as well. 🙂

To create these two interactive activities I have used Riddle.com, which helps you create interactive content in a few minutes.

Steps to create a Riddle
• Click on the Create Button
• Choose the type of Riddle you want to make. For this post , I have created a List and a Pop Quiz, but you can also create opinion polls and surveys.
• In a Riddle you can use images, animated gifts, articles, youtube videos…etc
• You can share on facebook and twitter or get an embed code for your blog
• The best feauture? It’s free!
I highly recommend Riddle to create beautiful interactive content for your classes.

CONFUSING WORDS: LASTLY, FINALLY, EVENTUALLY, IN THE END, AT LAST

Lastly and Finally

Use LASTLY or FINALLY to introduce the last point you want to make, the last action in a series of actions, or the last item in a list
  • Lastly, I would like to remind you that speaking Spanish is not allowed in this class.
  •  Load the paper, select the number of copies, and lastly press ‘Print’
  • You add flour, salt, and finally milk.

FINALLY and EVENTUALLY

 Use FINALLY  or EVENTUALLY to say that something happens after a long time
  • Finally we managed to get the car to start.
  • When she eventually turned up, the food was cold.

EVENTUALLY and IN THE END

Use EVENTUALLY or IN THE END  to say what the result or outcome of something was
  • They eventually got bored and went home.
  •  In the end we decided to cancel the trip.

AT LAST

Use AT LAST to say that something happens after a long period of waiting or trying, when you are glad about this
  •  It’s good to be home at last.
  •  At last, the pizza’s here!

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Ready for a small quiz?

Confusing Words: Finally,In the End, Eventually, Lastly and At Last

Read the sentences and decide which of the options best fits the gap.
Source: Longman Dictionary of Common Errors

Although she had been ​ill for a ​long ​time, it still came as a ​shock when she ___ ​died

Eventually

At last

__, I’d like to ​thank everyone for coming this ​evening

Eventually

Finally

Thank goodness! I’ve ​finished my ​essay ____!

at last

in the end

___ the baby stopped crying and we managed to get some sleep

Finally/eventually

lastly

Do you really mean that you’ve stopped smoking ___?

at last

finally

___ Spain won by two goals to one.

in the end

at last

___, as soon as you hear a beep, press the start button

Finally

eventually

It seems more and more likely that the human race will ___ destroy itself

eventually

lastly

She showed us the new dress, then the blouse and ___ the shoes

lastly

in the end

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You didn’t score as well as the experts but this means you can only get better! Practise makes perfect so just get stuck in and give it a go. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
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Viral content expert!

You know everything there is know about creating viral content! Well, almost. Great start – now it’s time to get creating fun viral content. Then you can sit back and watch people share it around the world.
[You can use this space to write some funny content to encourage people to share their result. You can also add in links like the one below or choose (in the Customise menu) to show a form that collects user information so you can build an email list etc.]

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Did you Know…. hung or hanged?

I can almost see my students smiling with a hint of irony painted on their faces when they hear me saying the words” English is very easy”. And yes, you  might disagree with me here but  it all depends on what language you compare it with and, in their case, Spanish grammar is a far cry from English grammar, being the first much more complicated to understand. I am also well aware of the difficulties they have when learning English but we need to focus on the positive things. I wouldn’t be doing a good job if I don’t motivate my students!

But… sometimes… only sometimes, English could be a bit confusing, and the use of  hung and hanged is a little quirk of the English language.

This is what one of my students wrote . “He said that  nobody  lived in that house  because the man who lived there had killed all his family and then he hung himself.”

I crossed it off and wrote “hanged” instead. The verb “hang” can be regular or irregular. You study:

                 hang- hung/hanged-hung/hanged

So far, easy.But when do you use “hung” and when “hanged”? The explanation can be either short or long. I think I’ll go for the short one as you can always check meanings and use in a good dictionary.

  • Hanged is used  when the meaning is
  1. to kill somebody  by tying a rope attached from  above around their neck and removing the support from beneath them .

                              The prisoner  was ​found guilty of the crime  and hanged ​.

       2.  (slang) to damn or be damned: used in mild curses or interjections. 

                               I’ll be hanged before I ask her out again

  • Hung is preferred in all other senses of the word.

Once clarified, it isn’t that difficult, is it?

Do you have time for a little test?

Some pictures ___ on the walls of his house

hung

[collapse]
His arms __ down limply, over the edge of the couch.

hung

[collapse]
Red meat is __ for at least 28 days, making for a memorable steak

hung

[collapse]
He was __ for murder

hanged

[collapse]
I am __if I know

hanged

[collapse]
A heavy gold necklace __ around her neck.

hung

[collapse]
He _____ himself from a beam in the attic

hanged

[collapse]

Word of the Day : High and Tall

WHAT IS HIGH AND WHAT IS TALL?

This forest has very tall trees

  • TALL. This simple idea is easy to remember: if a thing is higher than it is wide, then we use Tall .

People , trees , ladders, street lamps,  buildings with a lot of floors are Tall

I am 1,70 cm tall

I live in a very tall building. It has 20 floors

  • HIGH: we use high for things which are wider.

There are some high mountains in Austria

Prisons have very high walls

A BIT MORE?

  • When talking about measurements, Tall is used for people and High for things. So, as you can see there are things that can be “tall” or “high” depending on the context

I am 1,70 cm tall

This building is 25 m high (tall) / I live in a very tall building

  • The adjective High is used when talking about distance above the ground

The shelf is too high for me to reach. Can you help me?

  • Parts of the body are long, not tall

TEST YOURSELF

The clouds are very ... today

high

[collapse]

This park has very ... trees

tall

[collapse]
The woman is six feet ___

tall

[collapse]
What is the ___mountain in the world?

highest

[collapse]
This building is 75 metres ___

High ( we are talking about measurement)

[collapse]
This is a very ___ building. It has 30 floors.

tall (higher than wide)

[collapse]
The fence was too ___for a man of his age to climb

high

[collapse]

 

high

A word on Grammar: Because and Because Of

Do you know the difference between these two structures? Do you know how to use them?

  • Because is a conjunction. It is followed by Subject+Verb

I didn’t go out because it was raining

  • Because of  is a two-word preposition. It is used before a noun or a pronoun

I didn’t go out because of the rain

(due to is similar to because of)

Test your knowledge now with this interactive quiz.

If the quiz is unavailable , click here

Music can also help you a lot with your English. Here’s this beautiful song by Kelly Clarkson. Enjoy it and listen very attentively to the chorus. You’ll hear our targeted grammar point.

Word of the day : Win and Beat

Do you know the difference between the verbs “win” and “beat”?

Which is correct ..?

  • Real Madrid beat FC Barcelona(by) 3-1
  • Real Madrid won FC Barcelona (by) 3-1

Study the difference .

  • Win/wɪn/, won/wʌn/, won/wʌn/ means to achieve first position and/or  get a prize in a competition or competitive situation. You win a game or a competition
  • Beat/biːt/, beat/biːt/, beaten /ˈbiːtn/ means to defeat or to do better. You beat a person or a team you are playing against

So now, which of the two sentences above is correct? Well done , the first sentence “Real Madrid beat FC Barcelona (by)  3-1 “ is correct

Test yourself with these exercises:

He ___ first prize in the raffle

won

[collapse]

Everybody likes ___ an argument

winning

[collapse]
She has ____ her own record of three minutes ten seconds.

beaten

[collapse]
Spain ___ Belgium by 5-4

beat

[collapse]

He ___ her at tennis

beat

[collapse]
He ___ first place in the competition

won

[collapse]

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Source: Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

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Did you Know…… Near?

Look at these two sentences. Are both sentences correct?

  • I live near the school
  • I live near to the school

The answer is yes.

Near can be used as a preposition .When near is a prepostion , near to is less common but also possible .

  • Go and sit nearer (to) the fire
  • We came near (to) being killed.

Source : Practical English Usage (Michael Swan/Oxford) and Oxford Dictionaries

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Word of the Day: Teacher , Professor and Lecturer

Do you know the difference between these three seemingly identical terms?

Let’s start by stating the obvious, all of them are related to “teaching”; but is there a difference between them? Indeed there is, as otherwise I wouldn’t be bothering you with this issue and well you know it!  🙂

Alright,  let’s get down to the point . I know you’re all on tenterhooks and I don’t want to see you suffer

At school, there are teachers. At university , there are lecturers and professors.

♥A lecturer  is a university teacher who has just started teaching at college or university. Lecturers do not have tenures ( permanent position) and they are at an early stage of their careers  .

Some words that collocate with lecturer are:

I was a junior  lecturer in Spanish at Oxford  University when I was in my 30s

♥A professor, on the other hand ,  is the principal teacher in a department and he usually has a doctorate degree. When he   first gets his doctorate degree , he becomes an assistant professor  and teaches  for 5 or 6 years .Then, he is  given tenure and  becomes an associate professor and finally he  can promote to become a  full professor.So , professor is the highest rank an academic can get.

Some words that collocate with professor are

I spent  a year as a visiting professor at Oviedo University.. He is a distinguised professor of history.

 To finish, I would remind you that teachers give  lessons and lecturers and professors  give lectures.

 

 

Word of the Day: Finish and End Up

I don’t know about other languages, but these two verbs  can be easily confused in

Spanish.

Very often, we  see this kind of mistakes:  We missed the bus and finished taking a taxi .

So what is the difference between these two verbs? How can we use them?

♥ End Up

– if you end up somewhere, you eventually arrive there, even though you did not originally intend  to go there.

Many of his friends ended up in prison for different crimes

– if you end up  doing something or end up in a particular state, you do it or get to that state even though you did not originally intend to.

We missed the bus and ended up taking a taxi

I f the crisis continues, we will end up with millions and millions of unemployed

♥ Finish

-If you finish, or finish something you are doing, producing or dealing with, you reach the end of it, so there is no more for you to do, produce  or deal with .

I’ve just finished doing the ironing

When we finished eating , we left

– When a  course, film, sale, etc finishes , especially at a planned time, it ends

The course starts in September and finishes in May

The good news is that both verbs are followed by gerund so, you see, here you can not make a mistake.

See how the following sentences are translated

Have a look at these quotes now and pay attention to how these two verbs are being used. Which quote do you like best ? Why?

Source: Collins Cobuild

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