A List of Commonly Misused Words

There are a lot of words that we use every day that we usually use incorrectly. When spoken, these incorrect usage may be not that apparent but become detectable once they are written. Here are some of the most commonly misused words in the English language.

List of English Words and That are Usually Misused

  • Above

The misuse of this word happens when the phrases the above method and as mentioned above is utilized in a statement. They are mostly used to refer to something that precedes the statement. It is a loose reference and is usually convenient for the writer but not for the reader.

  • Affect and Effect

These are commonly misused words and are often interchanged by most people. Affect is a hyphen used to convey influence when used as a verb. Effect means to bring out when used as a verb and it means result when used as a noun.

  • Alternate and Alternative

These two are also often interchanged but they have different meanings. Altenate means succession or every other. Alternate implies a choice between two or more things, happenings or action.

  • Compared with and Compared to

‘Compared with’ means to examine the difference and similarities of objects, situations, people or course of action. ‘Compare to’ means to the qualities of two things are deemed similar.

  • Comprise

One of the most misused words in the English language. This word means to include or to contain. It does not mean constitute.

  • Data

Many people use this word as a singular noun. It is actually plural in form. So it is wrong to say “this data” and the correct way to say it is “these data.”

  • Interesting and Interesting a Note

Avoid using these in writing your paper. It only conveys presumption. Do not forget that the reader will have their own perspective of your work.

  • Once and When

It is incorrect to use once when you really mean when. Once means one time, formerly, immediately, and simultaneously.

  • Partially and Partly

These two are also commonly misused words. They are also incorrectly interchanged as well. Partially implies biased favor for a certain thing, situation, person, or a course of action. Partly describes portions and proportions more accurately.

  • Percentage and Percent

These two are also confused for one another. Remember that percent (%) is used with numbers. Percentage is used to refer proportion in terms of hundredths.

  • Predominate and Predominant

Remember that predominate is a verb and predominant is an adjective. Keep in mind that the adverb is predominantly and not predominately.

  • Prevalence and Incidence

Another pair of commonly misused words. Prevalence is used to convey the number per unit of population at a given specific time (300 per 10,000 children in 1987). Incidence is the specific number in a population per unit in a given time (13 cases per year).

There are still a lot of words that are misused both in spoken and written form. Make sure that you know what a word means before using it. Also, read a lot of texts so that you can familiarize yourself with different words and how they are used in their respective contexts. Practice writing and speaking so that you will learn to use words correctly effortlessly. But in case you need a professional proofreading services, our experts are here to help you!