Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Using other

August 23rd, 2013 in Words

The word other can be used as a determiner or a pronoun.

When used as a determiner, other is followed by a plural noun.

Words commonly confused

April 14th, 2013 in Words

Audience and spectators

The words audience and spectators have slightly different meanings. An audience is a group of people who have assembled at a place to see or hear a film, a speech or a performance.

Origin of the word blackmail

February 9th, 2013 in Words

To blackmail somebody is to exhort money or something else of value from them by the threat of exposing information that will harm them in many ways. Blackmailing is a punishable offence.

What does carte blanche mean?

February 6th, 2013 in Words

Carte Blanche is one of those phrases loaned from French. This French expression is pronounced ‘cart BLONSH’. Note that the main stress falls on the second word. To give somebody carte blanche is to give them complete freedom to do whatever they want.

Words confused

January 15th, 2013 in Words

Is it distinct or distinctive?

The words distinct and distinctive have slightly different meanings. In most cases, they are not interchangeable.


Distinct means ‘clear’ or ‘unmistakable’.

Difference between ago and before

October 27th, 2012 in Words

Ago is used with a past tense and a time expression to count back from the present.

His father died three years ago.

He left ten minutes ago.

Affect and effect

October 26th, 2012 in Words

The words affect and effect are often confused. Affect is a verb. It means ‘cause a change in something’ or ‘influence’.

The cold weather affected my health.