Basic Writing Skills

 

 

Easily Confused Words (Review 1)

Review the following easily confused words.

its

belonging to it

  • That dog just walked on its back legs.
  • That store is having its back-to-school sale.
  • My car has a mind of its own.

it's

it is

  • Guess what? It’s my birthday!
  • Do you know if it’s four o’clock yet?

it has

  • It’s been driving me crazy.
  • I think it’s taken the waiter twenty minutes to come back.

there

  1. Most of the time, there means “at that place” (the opposite of "here").
    • I went there to meet my brother.
    • I found my wallet over there.
  2. When placed at the beginning of a sentence, there often has little meaning other than "something exists."
    • There are ghosts in that haunted house.
    • There is an old house on the corner.

 

their 

belongs to them

  • All of those kids with their contagious laughter really made my day.
  • They didn’t want to see all of their hard work go to waste.

 

they’re

"they are" or "they were".

  • They’re going to a party tomorrow.
  • You should meet my work friends; they’re a real hoot.

 

are form of the verb "to be" (as in "you are," "we are", and "they are")
  • We are cleaning the house today.
  • They are nice people.
  • You are so tall!
  • Those kids are noisy.
  • All cats are mammals.
our belong to us
  • Our table is made of wood.
  • We all take care of our classroom.
  • When our teacher told a joke, some of us laughed.

 

a lot

a large number

  • I brought a lot of ice cream to the party.
  • My brother plays video games a lot.
  • A lot of times, we just walk to school instead of taking the bus.

allot

to assign or distribute in portions

  • They are going to allot two slices of pizza to each person.
  • When planning your school shoping, be sure to allot enough money for pens.
  • I was allotted twenty minutes to use the shower.

accept

to take or receive something offered.

  • I would like to accept your invitation to dinner.
  • Permission slips are due tomorrow; late ones will not be accepted.
  • They are still accepting applications; we should apply!

except

excluding

  • I like all kinds of music except opera.
  • Everything except our final exam is done for the school year.
  • Except for strawberries, I am not allergic to anything.

Mistake
Correct

should of

should have / should've

  • I should have tried again.
  • I should've tried again.

could of

could have / could've

  • That could have been the last time.
  • That could've been the last time.

would of

would have / would've

  • I wish I would have known.
  • I wish I would've known.

shouldn't of

shouldn't have

  • You really shouldn't have done that.

couldn't of

couldn't have

  • The weather couldn't have been nicer.

wouldn't of

wouldn't have

  • I wouldn't have called if I'd known you were sleeping.

here

in this place

  • My mom is picking me up here.
  • Here is your coat.
  • The library is not far from here.
  • Here you go!

hear

to perceive sound with the ear

  • Did you hear that strange noise?
  • We didn't hear you come in.
  • When they heard the bell, they ran to class.

to be informed of

  • We didn't hear the news until today.
  • If I hear anything about it, I'll let you know.

then

that time

  • We were very tired by then.
  • Since then, I have been afraid of clowns.

links items in a sequence

  • She parked the car, then she locked it.

If . . . then constructions

  • If you want more salad, then get some.

than

used to compare

  • That dog is smaller than all the rest.
  • Your paper is more wrinkly than mine.
  • This book is harder to understand than the last one.

This is the spelling you’d use for more than, less than, rather than, or other than.

 

through

shows direction (usually into one side of something and out the other side)

  • Our car drove through the tunnel
  • I went through two years of training before getting my license.

finished

  • Are you through with your spaghetti?
  • I'm through with this nonsense!

threw

past tense of "throw"

  • My mom threw a frisbee to our dog.
  • We threw a big party to celebrate.
  • Angel threw out all the crumbs and napkins.

to

shows direction or aim

  • I went to the store.
  • She is going to school.

before an infinitive verb

  • I tried to run really fast.
  • We need to bake a cake.

too

excessively

  • It’s too hot to go outside.
  • This pizza is too salty!

also

  • We live in Texas, too.
  • You can come, too.

two

the number 2

  • I have two sisters.
  • Two of those dogs just ran away.

your

belonging to you

  • I like your shirt.
  • Your cat is hiding under the couch.
  • I think that pencil is yours.

you're

you + are

  • You’re sitting on my coat.
  • I think you’re ready for the next level.
  • He told me you’re a piano player

 

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.

Quiz