Confusing Word Usage
Accept or Except? Affect or Effect? i.e. or e.g.? Grant-Wiritng-Proposals.com offers these tips for getting it right.
Accept or Except?
Accept is a verb meaning “to receive” or “to approve.”
Example: Will you accept my grant application?
Except is a preposition meaning “excluding” or “leaving out.”
Example: We enclosed all attachments except a list of board members.
Affect or Effect?
Affect is a verb meaning ‘to influence.’
Example: An individual’s income may affect her participation in the project.
Effect is a noun meaning a result or outcome.
Example: The effect of income on breast cancer screening is proven.
All Ready or Already?
All ready means “fully prepared.”
Example: The clients are all ready for the program to begin.
Already means “previously.”
Example: The guests were already seated when the guest of honor arrived.
Cite or Site?
Cite is a verb meaning, “to quote for purposes of example, authority, or proof.”
Example: The list below cites the many articles used to support the need for the project.
Site is usually used as a noun meaning “place or scene.”
Example: This building is the future site of the meals program.
Farther or Further?
Farther refers to physical distances.
Example: It is farther from St. Louis to Los Angeles than we realized.
Further refers to quantity, time, or degree.
Example: They progressed further on developing attachments for the proposal.
Fewer or Less?
Fewer is an adjective used to refer to people or items that can be counted.
Example: Fewer people showed up for the event than planned.
Less is used to refer to amounts that cannot be counted.
Example: The kitchen will require less space than the dining room.
I.e. or E.g.?
I.e. abbreviates Latin id est, ‘that is’; use it when you wish to repeat in different words what you have just finished saying.
Example: She is opposed to the project; i.e., she is leading an effort to boycott the project.
E.g. abbreviates the Latin tag exempli gratia, ‘for example.’
Example: A heart-healthy diet includes eating foods containing a lot of fiber, e.g., fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Imply or Infer?
If you imply something, you hint or suggest it.
Example: The inspector implied the project would be completed on time.
If you infer something, you reach a conclusion based on evidence.
Example: The director inferred from the report that meals will be served on time.
Lie or Lay?
The verb lay means to place or to set down.
Example: Lay the computer on the desk.
The verb lie means to recline.
Example: She plans to lie down this afternoon for a short nap.
Set or Sit?
Set is a verb meaning “to put” or “to place.”
Example: Jody set the computer on the desk.
Sit is a verb meaning, “to be seated.”
Example: Jody sat at the desk next to the computer.
These terms are standardly interchangeably:
Done or Finished
Everybody and Everyone
Anyone and Anybody