How to avoid making mistakes when writing in English...


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English can be a tricky language – and writing in English is particularly difficult. The way that words are spelt is not always logical and even if you THINK you’ve spelt the word right, you could be wrong....

Even one letter can change the meaning of the word entirely – which can lead to embarrassing mistakes. See below for a list of words that look similar but have very different meanings!!

Boring – a person or event that is not interesting.
Bored - when someone feels that something is not interesting or they have nothing to do.

Bought – (past tense of ‘to buy’) something that has been purchased with money.
Brought – (past tense of ‘to bring’) something that has been carried from one place to another.

Dessert - A sweet dish that is served at the end of a meal.
Desert - A large expanse of arid dry land.

Message – information sent from one person to another through various methods of communication (i.e. telephone, notes, letters etc).
Massage – the practice of kneading and rubbing parts of the body to promote relaxation.

Sweetie – an affectionate term given to a loved one.
Sweaty – someone covered with perspiration.

There – This refers to a place (i.e. ‘The students are over there’).
Their – This indicates possession of something that belongs to two or more people (i.e. ‘Their books were left on the bus’).
They’re – This is a contraction of the two words ‘they’ and ‘are’ (i.e. ‘They’re on the bus’).

Two / To / Too
Two – This means the number 2.
To - This refers to a direction (i.e. I am going to the shopping mall’).
Too – This refers to a quantity (i.e. ‘There are too many people in this room’).

Your – something that is ‘belonging to you’ (i.e. ‘your bag is on the chair’).
You’re – a contraction of the words ‘you’ and ‘are’ (i.e 'you’re late home today!')