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Even More Commonly Misused Words

by South University
October 13, 2011

At this point, we've shown you six examples of misused words and how to use them properly in a sentence. In this installment, we’ll tackle three more examples of such words, and these may be the trickiest of the bunch yet!

  • Do vs. Does. Do and Does are often used to ask a question, as in “Do you want to go out for drinks after work?” or “Does the store carry my favorite brand of cereal?” The basic rule of thumb is as follows: use does when the subject is first-person singular (he, she, it, the store, Larry, Mr. Jordan, the cinema, etc) and use do everywhere else. Still scratching your head? Here are a few more examples:
    • Do you like your classes so far this session?
    • Does the Campus Common have an announcement about the event?
    • I do not want the semester to end.
    • She does not need help with the latest assignment for class.
  • Have vs. Has. It can be tricky trying to figure out which of these words to use when, but it doesn’t have to be. Use have with a plural subject and has with a singular subject, as in the examples below:
    • He has been sick with a cold for the past week.
    • We have to arrive for the appointment no later than two o’clock.
    • Sarah and Sam have to drive their kids to school each morning.
    • The school has an online library and a tutoring center for student use.
  • Who vs. Whom. You might wonder if these two words are interchangeable or if whom is just a fancier version of who; however, they are actually used in different contexts. Use who when referring to the subject and whom when referring to the object of a sentence. For example, “Whom did you visit last weekend?” where “you” is the subject and the person you visited is the object. Still stumped? Check out the examples below:
    • Whom do I contact to receive an answer to my question?
    • Who owns the car that is illegally parked outside?
    • From whom did you receive this information?
    • Who wrote the book you’re reading?

Be sure to join us for the next installment, coming soon!

Tags: grammar writing

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