Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top Ten Commonly Misused Words in the IELTS Exam

In speaking and writing, conveying information is effective and efficient if individuals use the right vocabulary. Yes, vocabulary plays a vital role when people communicate. The choice of words that individuals use can greatly affect what they want to express. With a little confusion in this part, misunderstanding arises resulting from communication breakdown. In taking English proficiency examination like the IELTS or the International English Language testing System, there are certain words that candidates use both in the speaking and the writing that are commonly misused. Here are some words candidates have to be aware of to avoid future confusion.

1.    Affect and Effect

These two words are commonly misused by people. As a review, affect is a verb which means to cause something. On the other hand, effect is a noun that means the result of an occurrence or an event.

2.    See and Look

Both are verbs that refer to the use of our sight. However, both are used differently for they have distinct meanings. We use see to say something that our eyes can perceive. We see something because our eyes are open. The verb look is to see with purpose. Meaning to say, you are observing something or in focus in the object that you see.

3.    They’re and Their

There are lots of people who still get confused with these two. They’re is a contraction of the words they are. It functions as the subject and the verb in the sentence. Their is an adjective that is followed by a noun. They might be pronounced in the same way but functions differently in a sentence. 

4.    It’s and Its
Like they’re and their, both have the same pronunciation. It’s is the contraction of It is while its is an adjective, so a noun follows after it. 

5.    You’re and Your
These two words are common in writing. You’re  means you are – a subject and a verb. Your is an adjective so there should be a noun that follows after it. It may seem easy to remember but there is still quite a number of people who frequently commit these errors. 

6.    Accept and Except
Both words are verbs; however, they should not be confused when used in a sentence. Accept means to receive something or somebody. On the other hand, except means to exclude something or someone. They have direct different meanings. 

7.    To and Too
To is a preposition which is followed by a noun. Too, on the other hand, is an adverb that means very.  For example, She is too tired. She is going to Las Vegas.

8.    Quiet and Quite

Quiet is an adjective which means silent while quite is an adverb means a little. They have different spellings and pronunciation; however, there are still some people who get confused which of these are to be used in their sentences.

9.    Hard and Hardly

Hard is an adjective to describe something is difficult or solid while hardly means in a minimal amount.

10.    All right and alright

All right refers to something that is very satisfactory or agreeable. It is used to describe things that are good and pleasing. However, alright is informal form of all right. Hence, the latter is commonly used in conversations but in writing all right is to be used.

These commonly misused words are considerations people taking the IELTS should consider. Committing these mistakes are avoidable with constant practice in speaking and writing.


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