English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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English: skills for learning

3.4 Avoiding word class confusions

Understanding the role that a word plays in a sentence can help you to use and spell it correctly.

For example, some students confuse the words advise and advice. They often find it difficult to decide which should be used in the following two sentences:

(a) I always accept his _______

(b) Your tutor will be able to _______ you.

To decide, it is useful to first of all determine the class of the word missing in each case.

For the first sentence to make sense, the missing word must be a thing and therefore a noun. The second sentence needs a word describing an action, therefore a verb is missing.

If you look up advice and advise, you will find that advice is a noun and should be used in the first sentence. Advise is a verb and should be placed in the second sentence. Dictionaries also provide examples which help to check that your spelling is correct. If you listen to the pronunciation of these two words you will also notice that their pronunciation differs.

Activity 9

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