ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Irritatingly Misused Words

Updated on December 20, 2017

I read a lot of words. I teach college and I find that there is a lot of reading and writing. With that knowledge I have found myself cringing in my office chair every time I see a word used improperly. I also write books and edit both essays and books for others.

There are so many words in the English language, that's for sure. What astounds me is the number of individuals who are students, consider themselves authors, or hold advanced degrees who are incapable of remembering basic grammar they learned in primary school.

Listed below are some of the words I see misused a lot. I know it is difficult sometimes to differentiate. Especially when you are distracted by family or the telephone or the potatoes boiling over in the pot.

I hope that these little tips will help people to use the correct forms of words. English would be much easier if they didn't try so hard to make things difficult.

English Tips

1. To, too, two

  • a. To: (direction) I am going to the store
  • b. Too: (also) I liked it too.
  • c. Two: (2) I want 2 pieces of cake.

2. They’re, there, their

  • a. They’re (they are): They’re going to the store
  • b. There: (place): There is my candy bar!
  • c. Their: (possession): I want to go to their house.

3. Accept, except

  • a. Accept: (to agree) : I accept your offer
  • b. Except: (besides): I like the cake except the frosting is too sweet.

4. A lot is two words

5. It is toward, not towards, it is among, not amongst

6. Affect, effect

  • a. Affect: (to influence): she can affect an air of superiority.
  • b. Effect: (result): I have the effect of annoying people.

7. Whose, who’s

  • a. Whose: (possessive): I like people whose opinions are the same as mine.
  • b. Who’s: (who is): Who’s in my house?

8. Its, it’s

  • a. Its: (possessive): It’s mine.
  • b. It’s (it is). It’s on the couch.

9. Lose, loose

  • a. Lose: Did you lose something?
  • b. Loose: My shoes are too loose.

10. Assure, ensure, insure

  • a. Assure (to remove doubt): I assure you that I did not do it.
  • b. Ensure (to make certain): Winning the lottery will ensure our future.
  • c. Insure (guarantee in case of loss): We can insure your objects.

11. Me, I

  • a. Me: It could not have been me. Here is a picture of me.
  • b. I: I am going to the store. Jeremy and I are going to the store.
  • i. Tip: if you take off Jeremy and *I* makes sense then use it. If you take off the other person and the sentence does not make sense, then use *me*.

12. Definitely, defiantly

  • a. Definitely: Surely.
  • 1. I definitely need to get some sugar for that coffee.
  • b. Defiantly: with argument
  • 1. The child defiantly refused to take the medicine.

And the big no no!!! A lot is TWO words. :-) Allot is one.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)