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

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Use the following words to fill the gaps in the sentences below. Use a dictionary to help you decide.

Practice or practise

  1. To learn a language you need to ______ it regularly.
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Answer

Practise

Practice or practise

  1. Including a reference is considered good academic _______.
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Answer

Practice

Accept or except

  1. Children should never _______ a present from a stranger.
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Answer

Accept

Accept or except

  1. All my friends will be able to come _______ Louise.
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Answer

Except

Cite or site

  1. It is very important to _______ your sources.
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Answer

Cite

Cite or site

  1. I found a very useful _______.
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Answer

Site

Lose or loose

  1. To _______ weight it is important to exercise regularly.
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Answer

Lose

Lose or loose

  1. This path is dangerous because of _______ stones and snow.
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Answer

Loose

SWE_1

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