Words commonly confused
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.
People also gather to watch a live sports match or some other large events. These are usually called spectators or the crowd.
The word audience has a plural form: audiences. When used as a singular noun, audience takes the article an and is followed by a singular verb. The plural form audiences is followed by a plural verb.
- The program was staged before an audience of some two thousand children.
- International sporting events attract tens of thousands of spectators.
Title and headline
Books, poems, plays and other works of art have titles. Newspaper and magazine articles have headlines.
- What is the title of her latest book?
- Newspaper headlines have to be succinct.
Appraise and apprise
These words are often confused. They are both verbs. To appraise is to assess or evaluate a situation.
- The managers will appraise the performance of their subordinates once a year.
To apprise is to inform or to notify.
- They have been apprised of our decision.
Note that this verb usually takes the preposition of.
A lot, allot
A lot means a large quantity or number. Allot is a verb.
- He has a lot of friends.
- A lot of people want to buy cars.
To allot is to decide that something will be used for a specific purpose.
- We must allot some money to take care of day-to-day expenses.