Tip of the week: September 2015

In September,  we looked at various usage related tips which are quite relevant. It is easy to be bewildered by words that sound or look similar but have very different meanings. It is important to know the right usage lest we use it wrongly and our communication is misconstrued.

1 Sept: Usage: Comprise and consist of. Even though both words have the same meaning, the subtle difference in usage is note worthy. Consist is always used with ‘of’ while comprise takes no preposition. Eg, This book comprises 16 chapters. This book consists of 16 chapters.

7 Sept: What is the difference between advice and advise? One is a noun – the concept of advice  and other is a verb – the act of advising someone. And the spelling changes depending on the usage. Another example of the same concept would be Practice and practise.

14 Sept: Apostrophe: The other’s coat was left on the desk. The others’ coats were burned in the fire. Other’s means singular possessive – belongs to one person. Others’ is a plural possessive – belongs to all the others.
Eg. Tomorrow is Mothers’ Day. A day to celebrate all the mothers.

21 Sept: Usage: Adjustable and adjusting: These 2 words have a very different meaning. People are adjusting – which means they are flexible and accommodating. Adjustable is used for things – adjustable shelves in office – which means they can be moved around to suit specific needs.

28 Sept:  Usage: Respected and respective – Respected is related to deserving respect. Respective is related to corresponding, in that order. For eg: He is a respected man of the society. He then discussed the respective merits of the candidates. (merits of each candidate)

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