English is fairly confusing and complex language. Sometimes, the spelling will be same but pronunciation will be different and vice versa. Here some common mistakes that we make.
1. Practice / Practise
Practice is noun and Practise is verb.
E.g. A doctor has a practice, but his daughter practises the piano.
2. Bought / Brought
Bought relates to buying something. Brought relates to bringing something. For example, I bought a bottle of wine which had been brought over from France.
3. Your / You’re
Your means “belonging to you”. You’re means “you are”.
E.g. – Your Mom is an excellent cook.
"I don't know what you're talking about"
4. Its / It’s
As in the case above, the apostrophe denotes an abbreviation: it’s = it is. Its means “belongs to it”.
E.g. It’s a bird! Or It’s a plane!
The cat had eaten all its food.
5. Two / To / Too
With a ‘w’ it means the number 2. With one ‘o’ it refers to direction: ‘to France’. With two ‘o’s it means “also” or refers to quantity – for example: “There is too much money”. A good way to remember this one is that too has two ‘o’s – ie, it has more ‘o’s than ‘to’ – therefore it refers to quantity.
6. Desert / Dessert
Desert- Dry Land, Abandon
Dessert – Sweet dish, pudding
Oh – one more thing – another very common mistake is using the word dessert (two ‘s’s) to mean pudding – pudding is a sweet course, often consisting of some kind of cake or icecream. Dessert is fruit or cheese – normally taken after the pudding course.
7. Dryer / Drier
If your clothes are wet, put them in a clothes dryer. That will make them drier. A hair dryer also makes hair drier.
8. Chose / Choose
This is actually quite an easy one to remember – in English we generally pronounce ‘oo’ as it is written – such as “moo”. The same rule applies here: choose is pronounced as it is written (with a ‘z’ sound for the ‘s’) – and chose is said like “nose”. Therefore, if you had to choose to visit Timbuktu, chances are you chose to fly there. Chose is the past tense, choose is the present tense.
9. Lose / Loose
This one is confusing. In this case, contrary to normal rules of English, the single ‘s’ in loose is pronounced like an ‘s’ – as in wearing trousers that are too loose. Lose on the other hand, relates to loss – for example: “I hope we don’t lose this game”. A good way to remember this is that in the word “lose” you have lost the second ‘o’ from loose. If you can’t remember a rule that simple, you are a loser!
This one is not only often used in error, it is incredibly annoying when it is used in the wrong way. Literally means “it really happened” – therefore, unless you live on a parallel universe with different rules of physics, you can not say “he literally flew out the door”. Saying someone “flew out the door” is speaking figuratively – you could say “he figuratively flew out the door” but figuratively is generally implied when you describe something impossible. Literally can only be used in the case of facts – for example: he literally exploded after swallowing the grenade. If he did, indeed, swallow the grenade and explode – that last sentence is perfectly correct. It would not be correct to say “she annoyed him and he literally exploded” unless she is Wonder Woman and her anger can cause people to blow up.