Good English Guide Module 1

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For you to understand a word properly, you need to see how it is used in concrete context. No dictionary is able to do this because that dictionary will be so heavy and huge that I don’t think you want to buy it.

The following are words confused by the engineers and the managers. If you are appearing for the GCE English paper, or for College Entrance Exams, you need to master them by now.

Item 1

Associate (noun: declaring oneself in agreement)

Partner (noun: a person who takes part in a business with shared risks and profits)

Correct: Mr. Brown is our business associate.

Correct: Mr. Hill is one of the partners in this company.

Item 2

Assignation (noun: a secret appointment to meet between illicit lovers)

Assignment (noun: handling over of something)

Correct: The hotel owner arranged assignation for this gentleman and the lady.

Correct: My last assignment was to teach English language to engineers

              who graduated from non-English medium colleges.

Item 3

Arouse (verb: to give rise to, especially a feeling or emotion, to induce)

Rouse (verb: to stir to action or to bring out of a state of sleep)

Correct: His nervousness aroused the suspicions of the police.

Correct: The loud bang of the thunder roused every body last night.

Item 4

Abjure (noun: to renounce or repudiate)

Adjure (verb: to request earnestly)

Correct: He abjured the consuming of meats from today.

Correct: His friend adjured him to consider carefully before handing over his

               resignation letter.

Item 5

Abrogate (verb: to abolish)

Arrogate (verb: to assume without right)

Correct: Slavery was abrogated long ago.

Correct: The maintenance head arrogated the recruiting responsibility.

Item 6

Appraise (verb: to estimate or evaluate the worth of)

Apprise (verb: to inform or advise)

Assess (verb: to estimate the size, quality, or value of)

Correct: Before you appraise the employees, you will not know which are the ones to

              retrench.

Correct: The king has not yet been apprised of the decision by the armed forces. 

Correct: Our accountants assessed the amount of tax we had to pay last year.

Item 7

Amoral (adj.: cannot understand the concept of right or wrong)

Immoral (adj.: morally wrong, wicked, evil)

Correct: The truly amoral people are the babies and the lunatics

Correct: It is immoral to kill innocent people.

Item 8

Await (verb: wait for)

Wait (verb: defer)

Correct: A surprise awaits you for your next birthday.

Correct: We waited for a month before we received the cargo.

Item 9

Assume (verb: to accept as true without proof)

Presume (verb: to accept as true with something to back up, but not a  strong evidence)

Correct: The customers did not complain before and therefore we assumed they are

               satisfied.

Correct: We received a complaint from one of our customers before and therefore we

               presumed majority of them were not satisfied with our service.

Item 10

Assure (verb: to reassure, make confident)

Insure (verb: to safe guard against loss or damage by paying insurance)

Ensure (verb: to make certain)

Correct: We assured the casualty that we could reach a hospital within an hour.

Correct: He insures his cargo for a million dollars.

Correct: I ensure the client will receive the component by next week.

Item 11

Aircraft (noun: machine capable of flight, word is used as singular or plural)

Aeroplane (noun: powered aircraft with wings, British spelling)

Airplane (noun: powered aircraft with wings, U.S. spelling)

Correct: One of the aircraft was damaged by the terrorists.

Correct: The aeroplane / airplane landed safely.

Item 12

Alternate (adj.: following each other in succession)

Alternative (noun: a choice between one of two or more things)

Correct: These two groups of people work on alternate days.

Correct: There will be a lot of alternatives to consider.

Item 13

Although (conj.: despite the fact that)

Though (conj.: Interchangeable with although except at the end of a sentence, e.g.

               They looked tired, though.)

Correct: Although he was having fever, he came to work.

Correct: Though he was sick, he came to work.

Item 14                                  

Aren’t you

Correct:  You’re going to England tomorrow, aren’t you?     

Wrong:   You’re going to England tomorrow, isn’t it?

Item 15

Advise (verb: offering words of opinion)

Advice (noun: words offered as an opinion)

Correct:  He advises her not to waste the money.

Wrong:   He advices her not to waste the money

Correct: She was not happy with his advice.

Wrong:  She was not happy with his advise.

Item 16

Am not going to do nothing

Correct: I am not going to do anything today.

Wrong: I am not going to do nothing today.

Item 17

Allude (verb: to mention something indirectly, without identifying it)

Elude (verb: to manage to get away from)

Correct: He uses his poems to allude the corrupt practices of his manager. 

Correct: He eluded paying some income tax last year.

Item 18

Allusion (noun: indirect reference to something, a hint)

Illusion (noun: deception)

Correct: The allusion of the poem was about the corrupt manager    

Correct:  All the sufferings and pains are caused by greed, hatred and illusion.

Item 19

All right (predic.: in satisfactory condition)

Alright (adv.: less frequently used than “All Right”, but readily found in journalistic and

             business  publications, or in fictional dialogue)

Correct: It is all right / alright to be late because your presence will not affect anyone.

Item 20

Award (verb: to bestow for performance or quality)

Reward (verb: to give something in return for a meritorious action or service)

Correct: The best employee for the year was awarded with a return air ticket to

              a destination of his or her choice.

Correct: The first aider was rewarded for his bravery in saving the life of the casualty.

Item 21

Abnormal (adj.: does not conform to the rule or standard)

Subnormal (adj.: below or inferior to the average)

Correct: The abnormal guy urinates on the road when all the tourists are there.

Correct: Because his intelligence is subnormal, he failed his driving test six times.

Item 22

Absurd (adj.: wildly unreasonable)

Ridiculous (adj.: unreasonable)

Correct: It is absurd for the factory owner to demand that all workers must

              work 14 hours per day, six days per week.

Correct: It is ridiculous to believe the people like you because you are rich.

Item 23

Accessory (noun: additional or extra things fitted to cars, equipment etc)

Accessary (noun: someone involved in a crime but did not actually commit it as chief

                   actor)

Correct:  I wish to buy this car without accessories.

Correct: Because Abang was an accessary to that crime, he escaped

              the death sentence and was jailed for ten years.

Item 24

Affable (adj.: agreeable, friendly)

Efface (verb: to make disappear)

Correct: The new director was an affable person.

Correct: Although the document had been folded many times, we were lucky the name

              of the author was not totally effaced.

Item 25

Amend (verb: to alter, change)

Emend (verb: to correct, or improve by removing errors and corruptions)

Correct:  This society must amend its constitution so that even the foreigners can

               become members.

Correct:  Many monks sat together to comment on a religious document, so as to

               emend it, by removing errors and corrupted portions for the sake of the

               future generations.

Item 26

Adjacent (adj.: lying near or close)

Adjoining (verb: suggests actually touching)

Correct: His workshop is adjacent to mine.

Correct: His workshop adjoins mine. (in a terrace or semi-detached) 

Item 27

Annunciate (verb: to proclaim or promulgate)

Enunciate (verb: to pronounce clearly)

Correct: The new leaders gathered on that day to annunciate the formation of a

              Republic of China, thus ending the over 4000 year-old kingdom.

Correct: Phonetic teachers who are able to enunciate each English

              word  properly are most appreciated.

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