Common English Mistakes

English has a lot of similar sounding or similar looking words or phrases that can cause a lot of trouble. Lets take a look at some of them. 

Effect vs Affect 

This is a common one even among natives. 

Affect is a verb and means to cause or bring about emotions or change in something or someone; 

  • The presidential election affected the stock market.  

Effect is a noun than means the results of something; 

  • The effect of the consumption tax raise was small. 

A lot vs Allot 

A lot means many; 

  • A lot of people take the trains to work every day. 

Allot is a verb that means to hand or give out. 

  • The mother allotted the house chores to her children.

Breath vs Breathe 

A breath is noun and breathe is verb. 

  • Take a deep breath 
  • Don't forget to breathe. We must breathe to live!

Complement vs Compliment

These words can be both nouns and verbs. To complement something means to make something complete. 

  • The sauce complemented the dinner perfectly.

To compliment means to say something nice to someone. 

  • We complimented her for her excellent cooking. 

Stationary vs Stationery

Stationery is a noun that means writing materials; 

  • We are running low on stationery, can you go and order some? 

Stationary is an adjective meaning to stand still, to not move. 

  • The guard remained stationary at his post despite the commotion around him.