Which of the following is correct:
- He didn’t accept the free trip to Aruba.
- He didn’t except the free trip to Aruba.
If you chose #1, you’re right!
In English, there are a plethora of words that sound almost identical but have vastly different spellings and meanings.
Look at the following examples:
Accept vs. Except
-accept: to agree to receive or do something (Mary accepted the invitation.)
-except: not including or leaving out (Except for Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica has only had male presidents.)
Elicit vs. Illicit
-elicit: to draw out a reaction, reply or answer (The teacher elicited the students’ knowledge.)
-illicit: not allowed by law or ethics; illegal (The man was sentenced to life in prison for possessing illicit photos.)
Pole vs. Poll
-pole: a slender, long piece of wood or metal (Firefighters slide down a pole rather than use stairs.)
-poll: election voting (We took a poll to see how many employees wanted to work from home one day a week.)
Stationary vs. Stationery
-stationary: still, not moving (The foundation of the house is stationary.)
-stationery: writing materials and supplies (I bought Isabel Allende some stationery for her birthday.)
See if you can fill in the blanks below with the correct word (note: you may have to change the tense of the word depending on the context of the sentence):
- I forgot my fishing __________ last weekend when we went to the lake.
- After getting married, Brooke used her __________ to write ‘thank you’ cards to her friends and family.
- The teacher did not __________ my excuse that my dog ate my homework.
- Children cannot bring _________ materials to school.
- Tourists throwing trash in the jungle __________ a strong response from Costa Ricans.
- In a 1999 __________, 75% of Americans said they were happy!
- __________ for the boys, everyone had to wear a traditional Guanacaste dress.
- Hollywood’s headquarters are _________ in California.
Answers from last week’s Check Yourself:
- My favorite _color/colour____ is turquoise.
- I saw Phantom of the Opera last night at the National __Theatre/Theater________.
- A _dialogue/dialog_____ is a conversation between two people.
- “Could you do me a quick _favor/favour_________ and meet me at the call _centre/center_________ where I work?
- In libraries, most card _catalogues/catalogs_________ are now electronic.
- I put flowers on John Lennon’s grave in order to __honor/honour______ him.