Confusing, Complicated, Curious Words We All Mix-Up Sometimes

By Ash Thoms

Your brain is probably wondering why you’re reading this blog post.

Your and you’re are two words that are commonly confused in written form. When we use “your,” we’re talking about possession, as in it belongs to you. You shouldn’t let them use your toothbrush. When we use “you’re,” we’re saying you are. You’re an awesome human being (both a fact and an example).

I’m sure you feel like you have better things to do. There are plenty of activities with their own interesting topics and rules, and they’re all accessible to you. Yet, here you are reading what I’ve written about words that are easily confused in writing.

When we use “there,” we’re discussing a place, like we live over there, or using it as a dummy subject, like there should be more cookies. “They’re” means they are, as in they’re going to the store to buy cake. “Their” is possessive, as in it belongs to them. For example, their lives are so awesome.

Are you intrigued by the idea of what could be coming next? It’s a mystery; the content of a blog post has a mind of its own sometimes. It’s quite nice that you’ve joined in on its journey, though.

Using “its” indicates possession, as in something belongs to it. That dog has its own tail in its mouth! “It’s” is the contraction of it is. It’s really cold outside!

I hope this blog post is positively affecting your writing. If not, the likely effect of you reading this would be a feeling of disappointment. I truly hope you aren’t disappointed.

“Affect” is a verb which means to have an effect on or make a difference to. My poor grade on this paper may affect my ability to pass the class. “Effect” is a noun meaning a change that is a result or consequence of another action. Your actions have an effect on my well-being. (Side note: This one is a bit tricky because in certain instances “effect” can act as a verb and “affect” can act a noun. We’re just sticking to the most common usages here for simplicity’s sake.)

Are you beginning to accept what’s going on here? We’ve gone over so many words, except we still have so many more words to cover. I promise it won’t be too much longer!

“Accept” is the action of agreeing or receiving. I accept the consequences of my actions. “Except” means not including. I remembered  everything except for my headphones.

We’ve certainly loosened the grip of misunderstanding about these words throughout this post. I hope we’ve been able to do so without you, dear reader, losing your mind!

Use “lose” when you are talking about being unable to find something or you cease to have something. I lose my keys all the time (yeah, it’s true). Use “loose” when you are talking about something that is not firmly or tightly fixed in place or not fitting tightly. I buy my shirts two sizes too big because I like them loose (in case you wanted more random facts about me).

I’m grateful that you’ve allowed me to hold your attention to this point. While I haven’t been speaking aloud to you, I hope you still take valuable information away from this blog post!

“Allowed” is the past tense of allow, which means to give permission to do something. I allowed myself to sleep in last weekend. “Aloud” relates to something being audible. Someone was reading aloud in the library, and it was very distracting.

If your confusion is still present, rest easy. Accept that these are challenging words. Let the grip of fear loosen—they’re all words you will adapt to using in time!

This entry was posted in General Writing Advice, Strategies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply