Before we get down to our regularly scheduled grammar business, can we please talk about how Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting another baby? I’m so ridiculously happy right now!
If you’re new around these parts, you may not know that up until recently I was a high school English teacher. I studied to be an English teacher at Vanderbilt, which involved an entire class about grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and how to teach them. Because of that and actually teaching, I learned all sorts of rules of English grammar. One area of that is commonly confused words.
Back in November, I talked about the differences between stationary and stationery, raise and rise, and lay and lie. If you every wonder about those differences, be sure to check that out!
What are the differences between affect and effect?
Is it bear with me or bare with me?
Accept versus except – go!
You’re going to follow me on all social media other than Pinterest? I may not like it, but I accept your exception. Accept is agreeing or receiving. Except is everything but. Although it is usually used as a preposition or conjunction, it can be as a verb. So don’t tell yourself that accept is a verb and except isn’t, because that isn’t always the case. Preposition version is the most common – “I will do everything except for …”
Is it more then or more than?
More than! “Then” is a progression – “First I write a post, then I proofread it.” “Than” is a comparison. “Are you faster or slower than Usain Bolt?” Depending on your accent, there might not be a difference between them when you speak, which can make this difficult to figure out. But they are two separate words.
Am I complimenting or complementing someone?
Well, it depends. Are you trying to tell them something nice about them? Then you are complimenting them. If you are trying to make a group complete, then you are complementing the group. If you tell your new coworker, “Mary, your skills really complement the law firm,” then you are complimenting her. Think about it this way: when you complement, you complete.