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02/01/2014 08:15 am ET

12 Commonly Misused Words And Phrases

punctuation mistake
punctuation mistake

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Are you (or someone you love) making these grammar mistakes? End the confusion for good.

  • 1 Peruse
    Counter to popular usage, "peruse" actually means to read or review something carefully. We were even surprised about this on
    Shutterstock
    Counter to popular usage, "peruse" actually means to read or review something carefully. We were even surprised about this one! Example: I perused the entire explanation, but still had questions.
  • 2 Lie vs. Lay
    "Lie" means to recline or rest on a surface.
<strong>Example:</strong> I want to lie on that couch.

"Lay" means to put or pl
    Shutterstock
    "Lie" means to recline or rest on a surface. Example: I want to lie on that couch. "Lay" means to put or place something somewhere. Example: Lay your jacket on the chair.
  • 3 Supposed To
    Don't forget the "d," everyone! "Suppose to" is incorrect, as is "use to."
<strong>Example: </strong>I was supposed to call h
    Shutterstock
    Don't forget the "d," everyone! "Suppose to" is incorrect, as is "use to." Example: I was supposed to call her on Monday, but I forgot.
  • 4 Toward/Anyway/ Afterward
    None of these words should end with "s."
<strong>Example:</strong> Afterward, he walked toward the coffee shop—he was running
    Shutterstock
    None of these words should end with "s." Example: Afterward, he walked toward the coffee shop—he was running late anyway.
  • 5 For all intents and purposes
    If you've been saying "for all intensive purposes," you're mistaken.
<strong>Example:</strong> For all intents and purposes,
    Shutterstock
    If you've been saying "for all intensive purposes," you're mistaken. Example: For all intents and purposes, New Year's Day is the same thing as January 1.
  • 6 Bemused
    However close their spellings may be, "bemused" is not a synonym for "amused." Bemused means bewildered or perplexed.
<strong
    Shutterstock
    However close their spellings may be, "bemused" is not a synonym for "amused." Bemused means bewildered or perplexed. Example: The actor's bemused expression suggested that he didn't know his scenes had been cut from the movie.
  • 7 i.e. vs. e.g.
    An abbreviation for the Latin term, id est, "i.e." means "that is" or "in other words"; it's used to further explain somethin
    Shutterstock
    An abbreviation for the Latin term, id est, "i.e." means "that is" or "in other words"; it's used to further explain something. Example: Red apples are my favorite fruit (i.e. keep those green apples away from me!). If you want to abbreviate "for example," you'd use "e.g." Example: Would you buy me some red apples (e.g. Red Delicious, Fuji, or Gala)?
  • 8 Me, myself, and I
    Differentiating between "me" and myself" often gets people into a grammatical pickle, whereas most people have the usage of "
    Shutterstock
    Differentiating between "me" and myself" often gets people into a grammatical pickle, whereas most people have the usage of "I" down pat. "I" is only ever used as a subject (like she, he, we, they). Examples: I like the color blue. My husband and I went to the movies. "Me" is used as an object (like her, him, us, them). Examples: Something happened to me today. My sister loves that picture of Kelly and me. "Myself" is a reflexive pronoun, which means you use it when you're the object of your own action. Example: I see myself winning the tournament. The only other correct usage of myself is for emphasis: I myself love Bruce Springsteen's latest album.
  • 9 Farther vs. further
    "Farther" refers to physical distance.
<strong>Example:</strong> I live farther from the grocery store than you do.
"Further"
    Shutterstock
    "Farther" refers to physical distance. Example: I live farther from the grocery store than you do. "Further" refers to advancement. Example: Nancy read further into the comment and got angry.
  • 10 Fewer vs. less
    "Fewer" is used when you're talking about an actual number of things. Tip: "Fewer" is only used with plural nouns.
<strong>Ex
    Shutterstock
    "Fewer" is used when you're talking about an actual number of things. Tip: "Fewer" is only used with plural nouns. Example: Fewer adults floss daily than they did 20 years ago. (Adults is a plural noun.) "Less" is used when the amount is undefined. Tip: "Less" is only used with singular nouns. Example: Less than half of adults floss daily. (Half is a singular noun)
  • 11 Flaunt vs. flout
    "Flaunt" means to display something in an ostentatious manner.
<strong>Example:</strong> She flaunted her diamond earrings by
    Shutterstock
    "Flaunt" means to display something in an ostentatious manner. Example: She flaunted her diamond earrings by wearing her hair in a bun. "Flout" means defying rules or convention. Example: She flouted school rules by wearing a short skirt.
  • 12 Irregardless
    Most of you probably know this already, but it bears repeating: "irregardless" is a made-up word! It might be a mash-up of "r
    Getty Images
    Most of you probably know this already, but it bears repeating: "irregardless" is a made-up word! It might be a mash-up of "regardless" and "irrespective," which do share the same meaning. The same is true of "conversate"—again, word fiction.
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