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Effective tips to help you avoid mistakes in English homework: commonly confused words

English is one of the most difficult languages to learn and fully understand. It’s not necessarily the way it is spoken but when it comes to writing there are many rules that require lots of practice. Here are some ways to avoid making mistakes in English homework:

  • Understand what the assignment is asking you for and do just that. Sometimes we can confuse ourselves by thinking that one thing is being asked when in actually it is not. Following the specifics of the assignment will help you avoid possible mistakes.

  • Utilize tools such as: the dictionary, thesaurus, and internet searches to determine different variations of words. The English language has a plethora of words that may sound the same but mean completely different things and are often commonly confused. For example:

    • Homonyms are words that are very similar but have different meanings such as: Effect vs. affect= Effect is the result of something. Affect describes influence.

    • Punctuation can determine or change the meaning of a word. For example: It’s vs. Its= It’s is a contraction for the words “it is” which means something has or is something else. Its shows possession of something. These two small words are often times one of the most common mistakes in writing and English.

    • Common grammar mistakes are among words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean very different things such as: There vs. Their vs. They’re = There shows the position of where something is. Their refers to a group or possession of people. They’re is a contraction for “they are” and states where something is or what someone is doing.

When doing your English homework, you have to use all of the resources available to you. It will help you understand the differences in grammar, punctuation, and many of the other English language nuances you will discover. Making sure to practice and look for various examples will also help eliminate incorrectly using some of the more commonly confused English words. Reading is also a way to strengthen your understanding of proper English word usage. When you read you should jot down any words you may not understand written in a particular context and use your resources to figure out why the writer chose to use the word in that particular way. Doing this will help you write more grammatically correct and will also give you the confidence to properly and accurately complete your homework assignment.


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