Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WNW: Homophones, Take 3

Time for another round of homophones that are commonly confused.

Six more pairs in today's Word Nerd Wednesday:

rise/raise
Something rises on its own, like bread or the sun. Or yourself, if you're talking about getting out of bed in the morning.

A person or thing raises another object, like the curtain on a stage, or an employee's wage, or children.

Hint: The second word (raise) requires a direct object, like the curtain or the wage. It can't be alone:
I raised. We raised. He raised.
Nope. Those don't make any sense. We need a "what" that is the object of the raising.


everyday/every day
This one has its own WNW post, but in short, the single word (everyday) is an adjective, while the two-word version describes a time period. It answers the question, "When?"

Tip: If you can add "single" in the middle, you know you need the two-word version.
Brushing my teeth is an everyday thing.
I brush my teeth every (single) day.

fair/fare
If something is just and evenhanded, it's fair, like a test or a ruling.

What you pay to ride the bus is a fare.

shown/shone
Moments after my daughter comes home from school, I've been shown her latest creation. (Past tense of show.)

When something is very bright and shines (such as the sun), the past tense is shone or shined.

do/due
The most common way of using these wrong is like so:
She'll just have to make due with the current job schedule.
Nope. What you need here is DO:
She'll just have to make do with the current job schedule.
The other words, due means (among other things) when something is expected, like a library book or an assignment or a baby.

I think the confusion comes in with another definition of due: Something owned or rightfully belonging to someone, such as:
The teacher gave Scott his due.
Maybe people are thinking "make do" and "his due" mean the same thing? I don't know.

advise/advice
When you're asking for help on something, you may ask your friend to advise you. (VERB)

What your friend then gives you is advice. (NOUN)


I'm learning some fun Finnish terms for a project I'm working on. Maybe they'll show up in a future Word Nerd Wednesday!

5 comments:

Helena said...

I spotted a horde/hoard mixup the other day. Not one that comes up so often.

Kristina P. said...

Excellent tips, as usual.

Jordan McCollum said...

I often read homophone lists and think, "People confuse those words? Oh, I guess they *do* sound the same."

But seriously, the simplest ones I see done wrong so often that whenever I see or write them, I have to think twice about whether I'm going it right.

Do/due is one of those. (Seriously, brain? Seriously?)

Sue said...

These errors always bug me, and I see them fairly often.

"/

Stephanie Black said...

Awesome. Thanks, Annette!

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