(a) few and (a) little
(a)round and about
(be) used to + noun or... -ing
(Great) Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England
-ing form ('gerund')
-ing form after to
-ing form or infinitive?
above and over
across and over
across and through
active verb forms
adjectives ending in -Iy
adjectives without nouns
adverbs of manner
adverbs: position (details)
adverbs: position (general)
after (preposition); afterwards (adverb)
afternoon, evening and night
all (of) with nouns and pronouns
all and every
all and whole
all with verbs
all, everybody and everything
almost and nearly
also, as well and too
although and though
among and between
and after try, wait, go etc
any (= 'it doesn't matter which')
any and no: adverbs
articles: a and an; pronunciation of the
articles: countable and uncountable nouns
articles: special rules and exceptions
articles: talking in general
articles: the difference between a/an and the
as and like
as if and as though
as much/many ... as ...
as well as
as, because and since (reason)
as, when and while (things happening at the same time)
at, in and on (place)
at, in and on (time)
be + infinitive
be with auxiliary do
be: progressive tenses
because and because of
before (preposition) and in front of
begin and start
big, large, great and tall
borrow and lend
both (of) with nouns and pronouns
both with verbs
bring and take
British and American English
broad and wide
but = except
can and could: ability
can and could: forms
can with remember, understand, speak, play, see, hear, feel, taste and smell
can: permission, offers, requests and orders
can: possibility and probability
close and shut
come and go
comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives
comparison: comparative and superlative adverbs
comparison: much, far etc with comparatives
comparison: using comparatives and superlatives
countable and uncountable nouns
do + -ing
do and make
do: auxiliary verb
during and for
during and in
each and every
each other and one another
ellipsis (leaving words out)
emphatic structures with it and what
every and every one
except and except for
excuse me, pardon and sorry
expect, hope, look forward, wait, want and wish
fairly, quite, rather and pretty
far and a long way
farther and further
fewer and less
for + object + infinitive
for, since, from, ago and before
future: present progressive and going to
future: shall and will (interpersonal uses)
future: shall/will (predictions)
future: simple present
gender (masculine and feminine language)
get (+ object) + verb form
get + noun, adjective, adverb particle or preposition
get and go: movement
go ... -ing
go: been and gone
hard and hardly
have (got) to
have (got): possession, relationships etc
have + object + verb form
have: auxiliary verb
hear and listen (to)
here and there
holiday and holidays
how and what... like?
if so and if not
if-sentences with could and might
if: ordinary tenses
if: special tenses
ill and sick
in and into (prepositions)
in spite of
infinitive after who, what, how etc
infinitive of purpose
infinitive without to
infinitive: negative, progressive, perfect, passive
instead of... -ing
inversion: auxiliary verb before subject
inversion: whole verb before subject
it: preparatory object
it: preparatory subject
last and the last
long and for a long time
look (at), watch and see
marry and divorce
may and might: forms
may and might: permission
may and might: probability
modal auxiliary verbs
more (of): determiner
most (of): determiner
much (of), many (of): determiners
much, many, a lot etc
must and have to; mustn't, haven't got to, don't have to, don't need to and needn't
names and titles
neither (of): determiner
neither, nor and not... either
next and nearest
next and the next
no and none
no and not
no and not a/not any
no more, not any more, no longer, not any longer
noun + noun
one and you: indefinite personal pronouns
one: substitute word
other and others
participles used as adjectives
participles: 'present' and 'past' participles (-ing and -ed)
passive structures: introduction
passive verb forms
past tense with present or future meaning
past time: past perfect simple and progressive
past time: past progressive
past time: present perfect progressive
past time: present perfect simple
past time: simple past
past time: the past and perfect tenses (introduction)
perfect tenses with this is the first time..., etc
personal pronouns (I, me, it etc)
play and game
please and thank you
possessive with determiners (a friend of mine, etc)
possessives: my and mine, etc
prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs
prepositions after particular words and expressions
prepositions and adverb particles
prepositions at the end of clauses
prepositions before particular words and expressions
prepositions: expressions without prepositions
present tenses: introduction
present tenses: present progressive
present tenses: simple present
progressive tenses with always
punctuation: quotation marks
punctuation: semi-colons and full stops
questions: basic rules
questions: reply questions
questions: word order in spoken questions
relative pronouns: what
relative pronouns: whose
relatives: identifying and non-identifying clauses
reported speech and direct speech
reported speech: orders, requests, advice etc
reported speech: pronouns; 'here and now' words; tenses
reported speech: questions
road and street
say and tell
should after why and how
should and would
should, ought and must
should: (If I were you) I should ...
since (conjunction of time): tenses
singular and plural: anybody etc
singular and plural: irregular plurals
singular and plural: plural expressions with singular verbs
singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns
singular and plural: singular words ending in -s
singular and plural: singular words with plural verbs
singular and plural: spelling of plural nouns
small and little
so am I, so do I etc
so and not with hope, believe etc
some and any
some/any and no article
some: special uses
somebody and anybody, something and anything, etc
spelling and pronunciation
spelling: -ise and -ize
spelling: capital letters
spelling: ch and tch, k and ck
spelling: doubling final consonants
spelling: final -e
spelling: full stops with abbreviations
spelling: ie and ei
spelling: y and i
still, yet and already
subject and object forms
such and so
tall and high
telling the time
tenses in subordinate clauses
this and that
travel, journey and trip
unless and if not
until and by
until and to
used to + infinitive
verbs with object complements
verbs with two objects
weak and strong forms
when and if
whether and if
which, what and who: question words
who ever, what ever, how ever etc
whoever, whatever, whichever, however, whenever and wherever
worth ... -ing
In this list you will find some pairs of words which look or sound similar. Some others (for example lay and lie) are explained in other parts of the book. Look in the Index to find out where. beside and besides
Beside = 'at the side of or 'by'. clothes and cloths
Come and sit beside me.
Besides = (a) 'as well as' (preposition)
(b) 'also', 'as well' (adverb)
a. Besides German, she speaks French and Italian.
b. I don't like those shoes. Besides, they're too expensive.
Clothes are things you wear: skirts, trousers etc. dead and died
Cloths are pieces of material for cleaning.
Clothes has no singular: we say something to wear, or an article of clothing, or a skirt etc, but not a clothe.
Dead is an adjective. a dead man Mrs McGinty is dead That idea has been dead for years. economic and economical
Died is the past tense and past participle of the verb die.
Shakespeare died in 1616. (NOT Shakespeare dead . . .)
She died in a car crash. (NOT She is dead in . . .)
Economic refers to the science of economics, or to the economy of a country, state etc. elder and eldest, older and oldest
economic theory economic problems
Economical means 'not wasting money'. an economical little car an economical housekeeper
Elder and eldest are often used before the names of relations: brother, sister, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter. Older and oldest are also possible. experience and experiment
My elder/older brother has just got married.
His eldest/oldest daughter is a medical student.
If I say my elder brother/sister, I only have one brother or sister older than me. If I have more, I say eldest.
We say elder son/daughter when there are only two; if there are more we say eldest.
Elder and eldest are only used before brother, sister etc.
In other cases we use older and oldest.
She likes older men
I'm the oldest person in my office.
The tests which scientists do are called experiments. principal and principle
Newton did several experiments on light and colour. We also use experiment for anything that people do to see what the result will be.
(NOT . .. severahexperiences . . .)
Try some of this perfume as an experiment. Experiences are the things that you 'live through'; the things that happen to you in life.
I had a lot of interesting experiences during my year in Africa. The uncountable noun experience means 'learning by doing things' or 'the knowledge you get from doing things'.
Salesgirl wanted experience unnecessary.
- female and feminine; male and masculine
Female and male say what sex people, animals and plants belong to. Feminine and masculine are used for qualities and behaviour that are supposed to be typical of men or women.
A female fox is called a vixen.
He works as a male nurse.
She has a very masculine laugh. Feminine and masculine are also used for grammatical forms in some languages.
It was a very feminine bathroom.
The word for 'moon' is feminine in French and masculine in German.
- its and it's
Its is a possessive determiner, like my, your, his and her.
The cat's hurt its foot (not . , . it's foot.)
It's is a contraction for it is or it has.
It's late, (not Its late.) It's stopped raining.
- last and latest
We use latest for things which are new.
What do you think of his latest film?
Last can mean 'the one before this'.
I like his new film better than his last one.
Last can also mean 'the one at the end', 'final'.
This is your last chance.
- look after and look for
Look after = 'take care of'.
Will you look after the children while I'm out?
Look for = 'try to find'.
'What are you doing down there?' Looking for my keys.'
- lose and loose
Lose is a verb — the opposite of find.
I keep losing my keys. (NOT . . . loosing . . .)
Loose is an adjective — the opposite of tight.
My shoes are too loose.
- presently and at present
Presently most often means 'not now, later'.
'Mummy, can I have an ice-cream?' Presently, dear.' Presently is sometimes used to mean 'now', especially in American English. This is the same as 'at present'.
He's having a rest now. He'll be down presently
Professor Holloway is presently researching into plant diseases.
- price and prize
The price is what you pay if you buy something.
What's the price of the green dress?
A prize is what you are given if you win a competition, or if you have done something exceptional.
She received the Nobel Prize for physics.
Principal is usually an adjective. It means 'main', 'most important'. What is your principal reaion for wanting to be a doctor? quite and quiet
The noun Principal means 'headmaster' or 'headmistress' (of a school for adults).
If you want to leave early you II have to ask the Principal.
A principle is a scientific law or a moral rule.
Newton discovered the principle of universal gravitation.
She's a girl with very strong principles
Quite is an adverb of degree — it can mean 'fairly' or 'completely'. sensible and sensitive
Our neighbours are quite noisy.
Quiet is the opposite of loud or noisy.
She's very quiet. You never hear her moving about.
If you are sensible you have 'common sense'. You do not make stupid decisions. shade and shadow
I want to buy that dress.' 'Be sensible, dear. You haven't got that much money.' If you are sensitive you feel things easily or deeply — perhaps you can easily be hurt.
Don't shout at her — she's very sensitive, (not ... very sensible.)
Shade is protection from the sun. some time and sometimes
I'm hot. Let's sit in the shade of that tree.
We say shadow when we are thinking of the 'picture' made by an unlighted area.
In the evening your shadow is longer than you are.
Some time means 'one day'. It refers to an indefinite time, usually in the future. Sometimes is an adverb of frequency . It means 'on some occasions', 'more than once'.
Let's have dinner together some time next week.
I sometimes went skiing when I lived in Germany.
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This tiered cake will be the center of attention on your holiday table. Molded candy ornaments are made ahead of time so the actual cake decorating goes quickly.