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Proper Grammar-How to use commonly misused words properly, a list of mixed doubles: by Brad Hines 9-6-13 1:10 pm


Proper grammar in speech and writing are musts to be taken seriously, especially if one is a writer. Here are some of the most common "mixed doubles" as they are called–words that people typically confuse which to use in a situation:

Accept/Except: Accept means to agree where as except means to exclude something.

Adverse/averse: Adverse describes a hostile thing or action where as averse is used to say that a person is reluctant about a particular thing ex. he was averse to learning proper grammar

Affect/effect: Effect is reserved for talking about things, where as affect refers to an action, like, "he was affected by his trauma.

Ago/since: These are the same thing, but just know that they shouldn't ever be used together, for example, never should you say: "it's been three days ago since I started school"

Assume/presume: Assume means more "to take something for granted" where as "presume" is more doing so in a stronger way as in believe.

Bad/badly: Badly is an adverb, used to describe an activity, but with a condition or a passive state being described, use "bad"

Beside/besides: Beside means next to" and besides means "in addition/moreover"

Can/May: the difference lies in either the ability to be able to do something (can) and whether or not you are allowed to (may).

Disinterested/uninterested: Disinterested means that you are neutral in position or stance on something whereas the other means the obvious-bored or not caring about.

E.g./i.e. Without needing to know their respective Latin abbreviations just know that e.g. means "for example" and i.e. means "that is"

Farther/further: farther is used when referring to physical distances where further is used to describe an abstract notion, e.g., he didn't feel like studying any further."

Lay/lie: to lay is to put something down, where lie means to recline back (people lie, things get laid down).

May/might: might is supposed to be used when something is more of a long shot.

Raise/rise: to raise means to bring things up and rise just means to get up/

Than/then: than is for comparing things and then is for "saying w what’s next".

Regardless/irregardless: irregardless is considered archaic, although at this point it’s idiomatic. (Technically irregardless isn't right to say.)

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grammar infographic

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Brad Hines photo picture imageAbout the writer: Brad Hines is the president of, and the founder of He is a digital marketing and social media strategist. A writer as well, he typically writes about Internet, business, and science trends. His best marketing advice is that marketing really comes down to story telling and how well you can do it. He can be followed on Twitter:


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