Right word wrong word

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Right Word Wrong Word Words and structures confused and misused by learners of English L G Alexander LONGMAN Addison Wesley Longman Limited Edinburgh Gate, Harlow Essex CM20 2JE, England and Associated Companies throughout the world © Longman Group UK Limited 1994 All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publishers First published 1994 Fifth impression 1997 Illustrated by Chris Ryley British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Alexander, L G Right Word Wrong Word: Words and Structures Confused and Misused by Learners of English - (Longman English Grammar Series) I Title II Ryley, Chris III Series 428.24 ISBN 0-582-21860-8 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Alexander, L.G Right word wrong word: words and structures confused and misused by learners of English/L.G Alexander p cm Includes bibliographical references and index ISBN 0-58221860-8 English language-Usage English language-Errors of usage I Title PE1460.A48 1993 428.2'4-dc20 93-11963 CIP We have been unable to trace the copyright holder of the text for Exercise 52 Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, Nobody and would appreciate any information that would enable us to so Set in Times New Roman, TrueType Produced through Longman Malaysia, ETS ISBN 582 21860 Acknowledgements I would express my sincere thanks to the following people who supplied extremely useful data while this work was being developed: Julia Alexander Mohamed Eid, Cairo, Egypt Professor Jacek Fisiak, O.B.E., Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland Cristina Germanis, Verona, Italy Jurgen Kienzler, Ludwigsburg, Germany Roy Kingsbury Professor Hanna Komorowska, University of Warsaw, Poland Gottfried Kumpf, Vaihingen, Germany Chris Lynch, Tokyo, Japan Penelope Parfitt Professor T Takenaka, Kagawa University, Japan Longman English Grammar Series by L G Alexander Longman English Grammar: a reference grammar for English as a foreign language Step by Step 1-3: graded grammar exercises (beginners' to pre-intermediate level) Longman English Grammar Practice: reference and practice (intermediate level) Longman Advanced Grammar: reference and practice (advanced level) The Essential English Grammar: a handy reference grammar (all levels) Contents Introduction Reference Section Test Yourself viii 1-201 203 Up to Intermediate Level Social exchanges Cars and driving Adjectives: opposites Adjectives and noun modifiers Asking, requesting, commanding Telephoning Appearance, etc., of people and things Descriptions, etc Containers 10 Countable and uncountable nouns 11 Time and frequency 12 Health 13 Holidays 14 'Be','get','go','make', etc 15 Work and jobs 16 Buildings and parts of buildings 17 Verbs/verb phrases with and without prepositions 18 Occupations, etc 19 Words easily confused, misspelt, etc 20 Prepositional phrases 21 Only one negative 22 -ed/-ing 23 Addressing people 24 Names of places 25 Doing things for people 26 Movement to and from 27 The human body 28 Furniture 29 Money 30 Adverbs 31 Comparatives and superlatives 32 Four topics: The weather The news Luck and misfortune Keeping clean 33 Questions and exclamations 34 Quantities and amounts 35 Travelling by train 36 Outside 37 'Do', 'make' and 'have' 204 205 206 206 207 207 208 208 209 210 211 212 212 213 214 214 215 216 217 218 218 218 219 219 220 220 221 221 222 223 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 v 38 39 40 41 Dressing and clothes Food and drink Countable and uncountable nouns Education 230 231 232 233 Upper Intermediate to Advanced Level 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 Greetings, conventional social utterances and exchanges Comparing and contrasting Socializing, entertainment, etc What goes with what? Phrasal verbs Adjective + preposition Verb +'to'or verb +'-ing'? Approval and disapproval Red tape Character and reputation Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, Nobody Regular and irregular verbs which are easily confused Animals, birds and plants Shopping Counting and measuring Verbs with and without prepositions Household equipment, power, etc Expressing feelings of approval Writing, literature, language Items of clothing, etc Nouns ending in's' Food Health Behaviour Two topics a) War and peace b) Geography, natural phenomena 67 Adjectives and -ly adverbs 68 Communicating 69 Reflexive pronouns after verbs 70 Food and drink 71 Two topics Entertainment, leisure Games, sports, outdoor activities 72 What comes after the verb? 73 Newspapers, broadcasting, publishing 74 'Do', 'make', 'have' and 'take' 75 Education 76 Buildings, parts of buildings, surroundings 77 Countable and uncountable nouns 78 Fear, worry, embarrassment, etc 79 Crime and punishment 80 Clothes, materials, etc 81 Are you a hypochondriac? vi 234 235 236 236 237 237 238 239 240 241 242 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 Housework, gardening, maintenance Degree and intensifying -ic/-ical Inversion after negative adverbs Adjective + preposition Words easily confused, misspelt, etc Experiences, perception, thought What sort of person are you? Politics and government Stative and dynamic uses of certain verbs Travelling Prepositional phrases Cars, driving, maintenance, traffic Referring to facts, the truth A campaign against litter 271 272 272 273 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 Answer Key 284 Technical Terms 289 Index 291 VII Introduction About Right Word Wrong Word Little green men In 1877 the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) observed some markings on the planet Mars which he referred to as canali This was mistranslated into English as canals, suggesting man-made structures and the existence of intelligent life on Mars, instead of channels, which occur naturally The idea of canals appealed to the imaginations of scientists and novelists alike The astronomer Percival Lowell used it as the basis for his 'scientific observations', recorded in such works as Mars and its Canals (1908) The novelist H.G Wells was inspired to write his powerful story about the invasion of the earth by Martians, The War of the Worlds (1898) In 1938, a simulated newscast of this novel was broadcast, describing the Martian invasion of New Jersey, which reduced millions of listeners to a state of near panic The idea of Martians was not exploded till 1965 when the US spacecraft Mariner sent back close-up pictures of Mars, which proved conclusively that there were no canals and no little green men! The story shows how powerfully mother tongue interference can affect our understanding of a foreign language, with unpredictable consequences It also shows how we have to suppress our own language if we want to acquire a foreign language What is Right Word Wrong Word? Right Word Wrong Word is a Reference and Practice Book based on common errors in English It covers items like the following: • Words often confused, where the student's native language interferes with English (false friends): for example, benzine/petrol • Word-confusions that exist within English itself: for example, rob/steal/burgle • Structures in the student's language that interfere with English structures: for example, it has compared with there is/it is • Confusions of structures within English itself: for example, must/had to • Particular words and structures which are a well-known source of error: for example, get and enjoy Right Word Wrong Word is therefore a comprehensive usage book that provides answers to students' questions that are not easily available from any other source Who is the book for? The book is suitable for students of English as a foreign or second language at intermediate level and above, whether they are preparing for examinations or not It is also suitable for teachers It extends the knowledge of non-native teachers by clarifying the meanings and uses of related items; it sensitizes native-speaking teachers by making them aware of mistakes that students really make For both kinds of teachers, it is a handy reference for dealing with awkward questions on the spot The basis of the selection I have been collecting 'right word wrong word' items since the early 1960s and my collection has grown into a large database This database was checked against the Longman Learners' Corpus (drawn from 70 countries) and then filtered through a VIII representative spread of languages, including Arabic, European (Germanic, Romance, Greek, Slavonic) and Asiatic (Japanese) The words in this collection are the survivors of the original database that followed this investigation and number more than 5,000 items A description of the material The material consists of the following sections: • A reference section (pages 1-201) • Test Yourself (pages 203-283) • Answer Key (pages 284-288) • Technical Terms (pages 289-290) • Index (pages 291-308) How to use Right Word Wrong Word Index If you are in doubt about the use of a word, look in the index to find it, then go to the reference section You may have to this more than once to locate the meaning you are looking for When you find the word you want, check whether the mistake listed is one you are likely to make yourself and which you must train yourself to suppress The reference section The 'wrong word' is generally listed first, followed by the 'right word' For example: block * pad - I've brought this nice new pad to take notes during the meeting (Not *block*) (pad/writing pad = sheets of paper held together, used for writing or drawing) - How did the ancient Egyptians cut and move such huge stone blocks ? (= stone, wood, etc., cut with straight sides) Some words appear in different places For example, mark has its own entry, but is also listed under grade/mark/degree, note down/mark and speck/spot/mark The reference section focuses sharply on particular problems of contrast or use It is not a dictionary and so does not deal with every possible meaning of a particular word Technical terms The terms used in the reference section are briefly explained on pages 289-290 Test Yourself Exercises 1-41 are suitable for students of all levels, but especially for intermediate; exercises 42-96 are upper intermediate and advanced The exercises deal with topics (e.g health), functions (e.g doing things for people) or grammar (e.g phrasal verbs) You may work through the exercises in the order they occur, or pick and choose, according to level Attempt an exercise, then check your answers in the answer key Look up any item or items you aren't sure of in the index, which will refer you to the reference section Practise using the items you have learned in your own speech and writing ix a* an - Kirsty's got an MA in history (Not *a MA in history*) - She's got a Master's degree (Not *an Master's degree*) (a + consonant sound; an + vowel sound) a/an * one - I need a screwdriver to this job properly (Not *one screwdriver*) - It was one coffee I ordered, not two (Not *a coffee*) (a/an = 'any one', 'it doesn't matter which'; one, two, etc., when we are counting) a/an • some - Please bring me a glass/an envelope - I want some glasses/some envelopes - I want some water (Not *a water*) - I'd like a coffee please (some = an unspecified number or amount is the plural of a/an where the reference is to quantity; we normally use a/an only with countable nouns We also use a/an for all drinks seen as a complete measure: a coffee, a beer, but use some for fluids of which there is more in the tap, bottle, etc.: some water, some wine) a/an • (-) - Lucy wants to be a doctor (Not *wants to be doctor*) - Kevin wants to be an electrician (Not *wants to be electrician*) (a/an + singular countable noun) ability to - I wasn't happy at school until I found I had the ability to make people laugh (Not *ability of/on making*) (from able to) able • possible - It will be possible to see you on Friday (Not *It will be able*) - I'll be able to see you on Friday (Not*I`ll be possible*) (It + possible; human subject + able) about•around - Few people can afford to go on a cruise (a)round the world (Not *about*) ((a)round for circular movement) - They've built a motorway (a)round London (= surrounding, encircling) - The fax was received at around/about pm (= approximately; but approximately in place of around and about is very formal) - The journey took about/around an hour (Not *an hour about* *an hour around*) (preposition + object) about • on • over - Have you read this article on the Antarctic? - There's an article about tourism in today's paper (preferable to on) (on for serious and specific information; about for general interest) - Let's agree to differ Let's not have an argument over/about it (Not *on*) (over after argument, concern, dispute) abroad - John has gone/is abroad on business (Not *has gone to abroad/is at abroad*) (abroad is an adverb, not a noun; be/live/go abroad are fixed phrases, otherwise we have to say come/return from abroad, where abroad is used as a noun) absent oneself * absent - Where's Jane today? - She's absent I think she's ill (Not *She has absented herself*) - The soldier absented himself without leave for three weeks and was arrested (be absent from = 'not present'; absent oneself implies deliberate rule-breaking) absent • away - I'm going on holiday and I'll be away for a fortnight (preferable to absent) - How many students were absent from your class today? (Not *away*) (away = elsewhere; absent = not present) abstracted • absent-minded • distracted - Professor Boffin is generally very absentminded (Not *abstracted* *distracted*) (= not paying attention to present reality) - Sorry, I didn't hear what you said I was abstracted for a moment (= thinking about something else) - Sorry, I didn 't hear what you said I was distracted by the telephone (i.e something claimed my attention) abuse • insult • swear at • curse - The sergeant major abused the soldiers unmercifully (= shouted at them and called them names) - Mrs Tomkins insulted the bride's family by refusing to attend her son's wedding (= behaved in a way that caused offence)
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