A fellow student in my high school English class who grew up in the UK hearing the word adaption used when referring to radio and television programs based on books asked a question in class one day that stuck with me. Where did the word adaptation come from, since there...
Formerly and formally are two easily confused words. Spell-check applications of most word processing programs would not find a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check looks for words that aren’t in its dictionary or words that resemble words in its dictionary but are likely spelled wrong but like anything else,...
Have you ever considered the difference between laying vs. lying? You lie down however, you lay something down. Lie doesn't require a direct object but Lay does. The same rule applies to lying and laying (not lieing—be careful of the spelling). The past tense of lay is laid, so you should...
Is it Favorite or Favourite?  Why are there two spellings?  Well, it's been said that the United States and the United Kingdom are two countries separated by a common language. Even though English is the most commonly used language in both countries, a distinction is often made between English...
The English language can be complicated at times, especially if you are not a native speaker, and your original language has little in common with English.  To make matters worst, there is a myriad of words that are separated in spelling by just one letter, leaving folks (native speakers...
It is pretty easy to confuse purposely and purposefully. Both are standard English words with similar origins. Both words are adverbs, and they have comparable definitions. Never fear: we will elucidate how to use each word correctly. Differentiating Purposely and Purposefully The definition of purposely is “with intention” and “on purpose.”...
Even experienced writers get tripped up with anyway, any way, and anyways. Here is an explainer to help you distinguish between these similar-sounding expressions. Using Anyway Correctly Firstly, anyway can be defined as “nonetheless,” “in any case,” or “regardless.” Here is an example of how it is used: The sign said “No...
It is never easy differentiating between the like-sounding terms into and in to. The same is true for onto and on to. We can clarify these words and phrases to help you determine which is correct for your sentence. Into and Onto Definitions For starters, the words into and onto are...
What is the difference between the words abstruse and obtuse?  Abstruse Well, both are adjectives (words that describe nouns). The first word, abstruse, derives from a Latin word meaning "hidden, concealed, secret." In the English language, it simply means "difficult to understand." Here are a few examples:  Because I am not a computer programmer, I find...
If you ever felt uncertain whether to use amongst or among, do not worry. Their definitions are identical. The only difference between these two words is that among is more commonly used in American English. Both among and amongst are prepositions. They can be defined as: in the middle of,...