Monday, October 02, 2017

Using Articles A, An, and The: Part 1

Use a, an or no article with generic nouns. Generic nouns are used to make generalizations.
  • Indians are generally friendly.
  • A dog is a loyal companion.
  • Life is full of surprises.
  • An Englishman's home is his castle.
  • A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Exception: Sometimes, the is used with generic singular count nouns, specially with inventions and animal species.
  • The bengal tiger is an endangered species.
  • Do you know who invented the laptop?
  • The Ganges river dolphin was officially discovered in 1801
  • The African elephant is the largest animal walking the Earth.
  • The anemometer is a device that measures the speed of the wind





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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pretty vs. Fairly

Pretty (adjective) means attractive, nice-looking. Informally, pretty is sometimes used as an adverb meaning a little bit, not completelyAvoid using pretty in this meaning in business or formal academic writing. Use fairly instead.
  • The article was pretty good. (informal)
  • The article was fairly good. (formal)



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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Alike vs. Like


Alike is an adjective and an adverb meaning similar, like each other or in a similar way.
Use alike after nouns. Alike is not often used before nouns.
  • Adults and children alike enjoy video games.
  • Children and adults alike celebrate halloween in United States.
Alike can also follow other kind of words.
  • No two thumb prints are exactly alike.
  • My sister and I are alike in looks, but not in personality.
Like is a preposition meaning similar to
Use like before a noun or a pronoun to talk about similarity.
like + noun/ pronoun
  • My sister talks like me.
  • His daughter looks like him.
  • he is a fantastic manager like his boss.
For like vs. as click on the link below:
Like vs. As





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hanged vs. Hung


Hanged and hung both are past participles and past tenses of the verb to hang but they are used in different contexts.


Hanged is restricted to the sense of hang that means to suspend by the neck until dead, or to put to death by hanging.
  • He was hanged for murder.
  • She hanged herself moments after the result was announced.
  • A few hours after he was hanged, the terrorist's body was buried at the central jail.
In all other senses of the word hang, hung is the preferred form as past tense and past participle.
  • They hung the picture on the wall by the door.
  • A towel hung from the the rail.
  • I hung my daughter's picture above my working desk.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Flammable, Inflammable and Nonflammable


Flammable and inflammable are synonyms. 
Both mean easily set on fire; burning easily; burnable; easily ignited and capable of burning rapidly.
  • Children toys and clothes should not be made of flammable/ inflammable material.
  • Never ignite a fire near a flammable/ inflammable substance.
  • Because gasoline is one of the most flammable/ inflammable liquids, fire is a serious threat in any vehicle service area.
Nonflammable is the antonym/ opposite of flammable.
It means not flammable; incapable of burning or not easily set on fire.
  • Carbon Dioxide is a nonflammable gas that extinguishes fire.
  • Candles should always be placed in sturdy holders made of nonflammable material.
  • It is always advisable to use nonflammable, quick bonding adhesives for bonding metals, wood and plastic materials.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Criteria vs. Criterion


Criterion means a standard on the basis of which something or someone is judged or evaluated.


Criterion is the singular form whereas Criteria is the plural form.
  • The committee identified five important criteria for their business plan. (plural form)
  • The customer feedback is the most important criterion for us. (singular form)
  • The team must satisfy all the criteria for entrance to the competition or they will be rejected. (plural form)
  • Safety should be the number one criterion when one buys a car. (singular form) 
  • Merit should be the sole criterion for judging students. (singular form)
Note: Phrases such as a criteria, single criteria, one criteria, or this criteria should be avoided. 


Canvas vs. Canvass


Canvas is a strong coarse unbleached cloth made from hemp, flax, or a similar yarn, used to make items such as sails and tents and as a surface for oil painting.
  • In modern world, canvas is the most common form of oil painting.
  • Canvas began to outdistance wood panels as the preferred medium for painters in northern Europe around the 17th century.
  • One can enlarge pictures on canvas to look like paintings.
  • The nomadic tribes dwell in large tents made of canvas or yak wool.
Canvass is to get political support from voters.  
Canvass as a verb means to examine carefully, discuss thoroughly; scrutinise; to solicit voters, orders or opinions.
  • All aspects of canvass were open to public inspection.
  • As always, Sam opted to canvass in his own society first.
  • The issues related to child labor are thoroughly canvassed in the upcoming report.
  • The local leader spent the whole month canvassing for votes.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Continual vs. Continuous


Continual and continuous are not interchangeable.


Continual means frequently repeated or recurring. It is generally used for things that happen repeatedly, often irritatingly.

  • Tired of continual interruptions, he switched off his mobile.
  • Her math teacher's continual remarks has impacted her learning process.
  • The minister received continual complaints from the public for the government's handling of the street protests.
  • A successful project is followed by continual review and embracing change.
  • I can't work with these continual interruptions.
Continuous means continuing without stopping, happening or existing without a break or interruption.
  • The power backup provides enough power for unto six hours of continuous use.
  • It was at Frogmore that the world's first machine for making continuous roll of paper was built.
  • The continuous noise from the factory nearby kept him awake all night.
  • Additional leave without pay may be requested up to a continuous period of forty eight weeks.
  • There has been continuous fighting on the border for last 24 hours.