Misused English language phrases
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This is a list of commonly misused English language
phrases. It is meant to include only words whose misuse
is deprecated by most usage writers, editors, and
other professional linguists of standard English.
It is possible that a very small number of the meanings
marked Non-standard may pass into Standard English
in the future, but at this time all of the following
Non-standard phrases are likely to be marked as incorrect
by English teachers or changed by editors if used
in a work submitted for publication. Several of the
examples are homonyms or pairs of similarly spelled
words which are often confused.
The words listed below are consistently used in ways
that major English dictionaries do not condone in
any definition. See list of English words with disputed
usage for words that are used in ways that are deprecated
by some usage writers but are condoned by some dictionaries.
There may be regional variations in grammar, spelling,
and word-use, especially between different English-speaking
countries. Such differences are not seen as incorrect
once they have gained widespread acceptance in a particular
A [ top ]
Abdicate, abrogate, and arrogate. To abdicate is to resign from the throne, or more loosely to cast off a responsibility. To abrogate is to repeal a law or abolish an arrangement. To arrogate is to attempt to take on a right or responsibility to which one is not entitled.
Standard: Edward VIII abdicated from the throne of the United Kingdom.
Standard: Henry VIII abrogated Welsh customary law.
Non-standard: John abrogated all responsibility for the catering arrangements (should be "abdicated") Non-standard: You should not abrogate to yourself the whole honour of the President's visit (should be "arrogate")
Accept and except. While they sound similar, except is a preposition that means "apart from", while accept is a verb that means "agree with", "take in", or "receive". Except is also rarely used as a verb, meaning to leave out. Standard: We accept all major credit cards, except Diners Club. Standard: Men are fools... present company excepted! (Which means "present company excluded") Non-standard: I had trouble making friends with them; I never felt excepted. Non-standard: We all went swimming, accept for Jack.
Acute and chronic. Acute means "sharp", as an acute illness is one that rapidly worsens and reaches a crisis. A chronic illness may also be a severe one, but it is long-lasting or lingering. Standard: She was treated with epinephrine during an acute asthma attack. Standard: It is not a terminal illness, but it does cause chronic pain. Non-standard: I have suffered from acute asthma for twenty years. Non-standard: I just started feeling this chronic pain in my back.
Affect and effect. The verb affect means "to influence something", and the noun effect means "the result of". Effect can also be a somewhat formal verb that means "to cause [something] to be", while affect as a noun has technical meanings in psychology, music, and aesthetic theory: an emotion or subjectively experienced feeling. Standard. This poem affected me so much that I cried. Standard. Temperature has an effect on reaction spontaneity. Standard. The dynamite effected the wall's collapse. Standard. He seemed completely devoid of affect. Non-standard. The rain effected our plans for the day. Non-standard. We tried appeasing the rain gods, but to no affect.
Aggravate and mitigate. Aggravate means "to make worse". Mitigate means "to make less bad". "Mitigating factor" refers to something that affects someone's case by lessening the degree of blame, not anything that has any effect at all.
Allusion, illusion, and hallucination. An allusion is an indirect or metaphorical reference to something; an illusion is a false picture of something that is there; a hallucination is the seeing of something that is not there.
Assume: to suppose to be true, especially without proof, and presume: to take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary. Presume can also mean "take excessive liberties", as in the adjective form "presumptuous". Standard. They had assumed that they were alone, so they were surprised when they heard a third voice join their song. Standard. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
C [ top ]
Cache and cachet. A cache (pronounced kash) is a storage place from which items may be quickly retrieved. A cachet (pronounced kash-AY) is a seal or mark, like a wax seal on an envelope or a mark of authenticity on a product. Note that cachet is almost always used figuratively to mean "marked by excellence, distinction or superiority". Standard: The pirates buried a cache of jewels near the coast.
Standard: Living in New York City definitely has a certain cachet.
Non-standard: If your web browser is running slowly, try emptying the cachet.
Cant and can't. There are several meanings for the word cant (without an apostrophe); however, none of them is "unable to". One meaning of cant is "a kind of slang or jargon spoken by a particular group of people". Can't is a contraction of cannot. Standard: I can't understand the dialogue in this book because it is written in cant. Non-standard: I cant swim; I have never taken lessons.
Comprise. To comprise means "to contain", "to consist of", or "to include". One sometimes meets the redundant usages "to comprise of" or "to be comprised of". (These may arise by confusion with the correct forms "to consist of" and "to be composed of"). In addition, Fowler (1931) cites examples of comprise used (transitively) to mean "to constitute, make up, form", which he disputes. However, the 1998 edition notes that "the sheer frequency of this construction seems likely to take it out of the disputed area before long". Fowler sums up prescribed usage thus: The whole comprises the parts; the parts constitute the whole. Standard: The English Wikipedia comprises more than two million articles. Non-standard: The English Wikipedia comprises of more than two million articles. Non-standard: The English Wikipedia is comprised of more than two million articles. Non-standard: More than two million articles comprise the English Wikipedia. Non-standard: Documents, declarations, and resolutions, which comprise the American Constitution ... (cited in Fowler, 1931.) Non-standard: Isiah Thomas is still talking about winning championships -- with many of the same players that currently comprise one of the worst teams in the NBA. Non-standard: Deputy Public Services Director Kevin Gagne told News 8 the doughy, 90-foot mass is comprised of grease, flour and rags. Standard, alternative: The English Wikipedia is composed of more than two million articles. Standard, alternative: The English Wikipedia contains more than two million articles. Standard, alternative: The English Wikipedia includes more than two million articles. Standard, alternative: The English Wikipedia consists of more than two million articles. Standard, alternative: The English Wikipedia is made up of more than two million articles. Standard, alternative: More than two million articles are comprised by the English Wikipedia. (English passive voice) Standard, alternative: More than two million articles are contained in the English Wikipedia. Standard, alternative: More than two million articles are included in the English Wikipedia. Standard, alternative: Documents, declarations, and resolutions, which constitute the American Constitution ... Standard, alternative: The American Constitution comprises documents, declarations, and resolutions. Standard: A duplex comprises two units; a pentagon comprises five angles; Texas comprises two hundred fifty-four counties.
Contiguous, continual, and continuous. Contiguous means "touching" or "adjoining in space"; continual means "repeated in rapid succession"; continuous means "uninterrupted" (in time or space). Standard: The forty-eight contiguous states Standard: The field was surrounded by a continuous fence. Standard: The continuous murmur of the stream. Standard: His continual interruptions are very irritating.
Crotch and crutch. Crutch is often incorrectly used to refer to a person's crotch. However, the reverse of this is rarely heard.
D [ top ]
Dawn and sunrise. Dawn is frequently used to mean "sunrise", but technically it means the twilight period immediately before sunrise.
Diffuse and defuse. To diffuse is to disperse randomly, whereas to defuse is to remove the fuse from a bomb, or in general to render a situation less dangerous. Diffuse can also be used as an adjective, meaning "not concentrated". Standard: The situation was defused when Sandy explained that he was gay, and had no interest in Frank's wife. Standard: The smell of urine slowly diffused into the still air of the hall. Standard: The spotlights were turned off, leaving the stage lit by the diffuse glow of the lanterns.
Disassemble and dissemble. To disassemble means "to dismantle" (e.g. to take a machine code program apart to see how it works); to dissemble means "to tell lies".
Disburse and disperse. Disburse means "to give out", especially money. Disperse means "to scatter".
Discreet and discrete. Discrete means "having separate parts", as opposed to contiguous. Discreet means "circumspect".
Disinterested and uninterested. To be disinterested in something means to not be biased about something (i.e. to have no personal stake in a particular side of an issue). To be uninterested means to not be interested in or intrigued by something. Standard: As their mutual best friend, I tried to remain disinterested in their argument so as not to anger either. Standard: Though his initial reaction suggested otherwise, he maintains that he remains uninterested in the business proposition. Non-standard: The key to attracting a member of the opposite sex is to balance between giving attention to him or her and appearing disinterested.
Dissect and bisect. Bisect means "to cut into two"; dissect means "to cut apart", both literally and figuratively. Disect is an archaic word meaning "to separate by cutting", but has not been in current use since the 17th century. Standard: We dissected the eye of a bull in biology class today. Standard: She dissected Smith's dissertation, pointing out scores of errors. Standard: The Americas are bisected by the Panama canal. Non-standard: We disected the eye of a bull in biology class today.
E [ top ]
Economic and economical. Economic means "having to do with the economy". Economical means "financially prudent, frugal" and also figuratively in the sense "sparing use" (of time, language, etc.) Standard: Buying in bulk can often be the most economical choice.
Standard: The actor should be economical in his use of movement.
Standard: He attended the School of Economic and Business Sciences.
Non-standard: Leading economical indicators suggest that a recession may be on the horizon.
Non-standard: The actor should be economic in his use of movement.
e.g. and i.e. The abbreviation e.g. stands for the Latin exempli gratiā "for example", and should be used when the example(s) given are just one or a few of many. The abbreviation i.e. stands for the Latin id est "that is", and is used to give the only example(s) or to otherwise qualify the statement just made. Standard: A Briton is a British citizen, e.g. John Lennon. Standard: Tolkien's The Hobbit is named after its protagonist, i.e., Bilbo Baggins. Non-standard: A Briton is a British citizen, i.e., Paul McCartney (at the last count, there were about 60 million Britons—Sir Paul is far from being the only one)
Emigration is the process of leaving a country; immigration is the process of arriving in a country—in both cases, indefinitely.
Eminent, imminent, and immanent. Eminent, originally meaning "emerging", means "illustrious or highly-regarded". Imminent means "about to occur". Immanent (less common than the other two, and often theological) means "indwelling, pervading". Standard: The eminent doctor Jones testified on behalf of the defence. Standard: Rumours that war was imminent soon spread through the population. Standard: God's grace is immanent throughout the entire creation.
Exacerbate and exasperate. Exacerbate means "to make worse". Exasperate means "to exhaust", usually someone's patience. Standard: Treatment by untrained personnel can exacerbate injuries. Standard: Do not let Jack talk to the state trooper; he is tactless and will just exasperate her.
F [ top ]
Flesh and flush. To flesh out is to add flesh to a skeleton, or metaphorically to add substance to an incomplete rendering. To flush out is to cause game fowl to take to flight, or to frighten any quarry from a place of concealment. Standard: The forensic pathologist will flesh out the skull with clay. Standard: The beaters flushed out the game with drums and torches. Non-standard: This outline is incomplete and must be flushed out.
Flounder and founder. To flounder is to be clumsy, confused, indecisive or to flop around like a fish out of water. A flounder is also a type of flatfish. To founder is to fill with water and sink. Standard: The ship is damaged and may founder. Standard: She was floundering on the balance beam. Non-standard: The ship is damaged and may flounder.
Flout and flaunt. One flouts a rule or law by flagrantly ignoring it. One flaunts something by showing it off. Standard: If you have it, flaunt it. Standard: He continually flouted the speed limit. Non-standard: If you have it, flout it. Non-standard: He continually flaunted the speed limit.
H [ top ]
Hay and straw.
Historic and historical. In strict usage, historic describes an event of importance—one that shaped history or is likely to do so. Historical merely describes something that happened in the past. Standard: The president made a(n) historic announcement. (The announcement was of historical importance.) Non-standard: The office kept an archive of historic records. (The records are not necessarily of historical importance—they are simply records from the past.)
Hoard and horde. A hoard is a store or accumulation of things. A horde is a large group of people. Standard: A horde of shoppers lined up to be the first to buy the new gizmo. Standard: He has a hoard of discontinued rare cards. Non-standard: Do not horde the candy, share it. Non-standard: The hoard charged when the horns sounded.
Homogeneous and homogenous. Homogeneous means "formed of parts that are all the same kind". Homogenous (in Biology) means "having a common descent". Non-standard: ... a much more homogenous and orthodox form of narrative - Essays & Studies (1991) Standard: ... a much more homogeneous and orthodox form of narrative
I [ top ]
Immaculate Conception. This is the Catholic doctrine that the Virgin Mary was born without original sin. Often misused to mean the Virgin Birth or to mean the birth of Jesus without original sin.
Imply and infer. Something is implied if it is a suggestion intended by the person speaking, whereas a conclusion is inferred if it is reached by the person listening. Standard: When Tony told me he had no money, he was implying that I should give him some. Standard: When Tony told me he had no money, I inferred that I should give him some. Non-standard: When Tony told me he had no money, he was inferring that I should give him some.
Inherent and inherit. A part inherent in X is logically inseparable from X. To inherit is a verb, meaning "pass down a generation". Standard: Risk is inherent in the stock market. Standard: The next president inherits a legacy of mistrust and fear. Non-standard: There is violence inherit in the system.
It's and its. It's is a contraction that replaces it is or it has (see apostrophe). Its is the possessive pronoun corresponding to it, in the same way that his corresponds to he. In standard written English, possessive nouns take an apostrophe, but possessive pronouns do not. Standard: It's time to eat! Standard: My cell phone has poor reception because its antenna is broken. Standard: It's been nice getting to meet you. Non-standard: Its good to be the king. Non-standard: The bicycle tire had lost all of it's pressure.
Irony. Something is ironic if it is the opposite of what is appropriate, expected, or fitting. Standard: It is ironic that the center for the handicapped has no wheelchair ramp. Standard: It is ironic that Alanis Morrisette wrote a song called "Ironic" about things that are supposedly ironic even though she evidently does not know what constitutes irony. Non-standard: It is ironic that Bill O'Reilly is right-handed and conservative while Bill Clinton is left-handed and liberal. Non-standard: It is raining on our wedding day! Is it not ironic?
L [ top ]
Lay (lay, laid, laid, laying) and lie (lie, lay, lain, lying) are often used synonymously. Lay is a transitive verb, meaning that it takes an object. "To lay something" means to place something. Lie, on the other hand, is intransitive and means to recline (and also to tell untruths, but in this case the verb is regular and causes no confusion). The distinction between these related verbs is further blurred by the fact that past tense of lie is lay. A quick test is to see if the word in question could be replaced with recline; if it can, Standard English requires lie.
Standard: I lay my husband's work clothes out for him every morning. Yesterday, I decided to see if he paid attention to what I was doing, so I laid out one white sock and one black. He did not notice!
Standard: You should not lie down right after eating a large meal. Yesterday, I lay on my bed for half an hour after dinner, and suffered indigestion as a result. My wife saw me lying there and made me get up; she told me that if I had waited for a couple of hours I could have lain down in perfect comfort.
Non-standard: Is this bed comfortable when you lay on it? (Should be lie)
Non-standard: Yesterday I lied down in my office during the lunch hour. (Should be lay)
Non-standard: There was no reason for him to have laid down in the middle of the path, it unnerved me to see him laying there saying nothing. (Should be "have lain down" and "him lying there") Non-standard: Lie the baby down, and change his diaper (Should be "lay", as "lie" is intransitive) Non-standard: "It could be easy for those guys to lay down. After I left, they could have just laid down."
Levee and levy. A levee is a structure built along a river to raise the height of its banks, thereby preventing nearby land from flooding (see: dike). To levy is to impose (1) a tax, fine or other assessment, or (2) a military draft; as a noun, a levy is an assessment or army thus gathered. The two words share a common root, but they are not considered interchangeable in Standard English. Because they are homophones, misuse is usually only apparent when observed in writing. Standard: The Netherlands is well known for its elaborate system of levees. Standard: This statute allows the state to levy a 3% tax. Non-standard: Recent storms have weakened the levy.
Loathe and loath or loth: Loathe is a verb meaning "to strongly dislike", and "loath" or "loth" means "unwilling" or "reluctant"
Standard: I loathe arrogant people. Standard: I was loath to concede defeat. Standard: I was loth to submit to a body-cavity search until I saw who would be administering it.
Lose and loose. Lose can mean "fail to win", "misplace", or "cease to be in possession". Loose can mean the opposite of tight, or the opposite of tighten. Lose is often misspelled loose, likely because lose has an irregular rhyme for the way it is spelled: it is more common for words ending -ose to rhyme -əʊz, like nose, or rose, but lose rhymes -uːz, like news or confuse. This may cause poor spellers to guess the correct spelling should match another -uːz rhyming word like choose, although choose is itself also an exception to the regular rhyme for words ending -oose (typically such words, including loose, rhyme -uːs, like goose or caboose). Standard: We cannot afford to lose customers to our competitors. Standard: A screw is loose and I need a wrench to tighten it. Non-standard: If the team cannot score any points, they will loose the game.
M [ top ]
Macerate, marinate, and marinade. (From post-classical Latin marina brine, short for classical Latin aqua marina sea water.) In Standard English, marinade is a noun. Macerate means "to soften by steeping in a liquid" and in culinary terminology is used for non-protein items, specifically fruit. The word macerate is also used in science "to soften bone, rock etc. in a liquid". Standard: The meat will taste better if you marinate it in olive oil before cooking.
Standard: Prepare the marinade by mixing vinegar and soy sauce.
Non-standard: Marinade the meat in wine for half an hour.
Standard: Macerate the fruit in wine for half an hour.
Non-standard: Marinate the fruit in wine for half an hour.
Me, myself, and I. In a traditional prescriptive grammar, I is used only as a subject, me is used only as an object, and myself is used only as a reflexive object, that is to say when the subject is "I" and the object would otherwise be "me". Myself is often used incorrectly, often in a form of hypercorrection. Like the other reflexive pronouns, myself should be used only when both the subject and object of the verb are the speaker, or as an emphatic pronoun (intensifier). Standard: Jim and I took the train. Standard: He lent the books to Jim and me. Standard: That is I in the picture. (This is very formal, and seldom found in speech.) Acceptable: That is me in the picture. (This is typical in informal English.) Standard (intensifying): I myself have seen instances of that type. Standard (reflexive): I hurt myself. I did it to myself. I played by myself. I want to enjoy myself. Non-standard: Me and Jim went into town. Non-standard: It was clear to Jim and I that the shop was shut. Non-standard: As for myself, I prefer the red. (Just use me here) Non-standard: He is an American like myself. (Just use me) Non-standard: He gave the paper to Jim and myself. (Just use me) Non-standard: My wife and myself are not happy with all the development going on in town. (Just use I)
Minimal and minimum. These words mean "least" or "smallest", but are often misused to mean "little" or "small". Non-standard: Chances of a turnaround under Thomas are less than minimal,...
Mitigate and militate. To mitigate is to make something milder. To militate is to fight or exert pressure for something to happen or not to happen. Standard: The seriousness of your crime was mitigated by the provocation you were under. Standard: Over-protective practices in this factory militate against increased efficiency. Non-standard: Over-protective practices in this factory mitigate against increased efficiency.
N [ top ]
Novice and novitiate. A novice is a prospective or trainee member of a religious order. The novitiate is the state of being a novice, or the time for which one is a novice. However, a novice monk or nun is often incorrectly described as "a novitiate".
O [ top ]
Of and have. In some dialects of spoken English, of and the contracted form of have, 've, sound somewhat alike. However, in standard written English, they are not interchangeable. Standard: Susan would have stopped to eat, but she was running late. Standard: You could have warned me! Non-standard: I should of known that the store would be closed. (Should be "I should've known")
Optimal and optimum. These words (from Latin: optimus) mean "best", but are often misused to mean "good". Since optimal is a superlative, the phrase "most optimal" is also incorrect.
P [ top ]
Past and passed. Past refers to events that have previously occurred, while passed is the past tense of "to pass", whether in a congressional action or a physical occurrence. Standard: Congress passed the bill limiting the powers of the President. Standard: History is mainly concerned with the events of the past. Non-standard: He past my house on his way to the store.
Q [ top ]
Quartary and quaternary. Quartary (from Latin: quartarius) is the fourth member of an ordinal number word series beginning with (primary, secondary, tertiary) and continuing with (quintary, sextary, ...). Quaternary (from Latin: quaternarius) is the fourth member of a distributive number word series beginning with (singular, binary, ternary) and continuing with (quinary, senary, septenary, octonary ... centenary). In biology, the non-standard usage "Quaternary structure" is so firmly entrenched that to refer to "Quartary structure" would be incorrect.
R [ top ]
Redundant does not mean "useless" or "unable to perform its function". It means that there is an excess of something, that something is "surplus to requirements" and no longer needed, or that it is obsolete. Standard: A new pill that will instantly cure any illness has made antibiotics redundant. (Antibiotics could still be used to cure illnesses, but they are no longer needed because a better pill has been invented) Standard: The week before Christmas, the company made seventy-five workers redundant. Non-standard: Over-use of antibiotics risks making them redundant. (This should read: over-use of antibiotics risks making them worthless)
Reign and rein. A reign refers to the rule of a monarch. Reins are the straps used to control the movements of an animal (typically a horse). Thus, to "take the reins" means to assume control, and to have "free rein" means to be free of constraints. Non-standard: ...the Suns gave Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum free reign of practices... Non-standard: Bobby Jindal, a whiz kid takes the reigns of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospital
Reluctant and reticent. If someone is reluctant they would prefer to refrain from committing a specific action. They are hesitant. If they are reticent, they are reluctant to speak. Standard: Because of his stated conviction that "property is theft", she was reluctant to lend him any money. Standard: Bill Belichick is notoriously reticent when it comes to disclosing the status of his players' injuries. Non-standard: He was reticent to enter the forbidding cave.
Revert. To undo something. Standard: On discovering his error, he reverted his code to a previous version.
Non-standard: Please revert to my email.
S [ top ]
Set and sit. When used as a verb, to set means "to place" or "to adjust to a value", whereas to sit means "to be seated". Standard: Set the pot upon the stove.
Standard: Set the temperature-control to 100 °C. Non-standard: Set down over there.
Non-standard: Sit the pot on the stove.
Standard: Sit on the chair.
Shrink and shirk. To shirk means "to consistently avoid", "to neglect", "to be too afraid to engage". To shrink means "to contract", "to become physically smaller in size"; also, to shrink away means "to suddenly jerk away from something in horror". However, to shrink from may also mean "to hesitate or show reluctance toward". Standard: I will not shirk discussion. Standard: I will not shrink from discussion. Standard: She shrank away from me. Non-standard: I will not shrink discussion. Non-standard: I will not shirk from discussion.
Sight, site, and cite. A site is a place; a sight is something seen. To cite is to quote or list as a source. Standard: You are a sight for sore eyes. Standard: I found a list of the sights of Rome on a tourist site. Standard: Please cite the sources you used in your essay. Standard: You must travel to the site of the dig to see the dinosaur bones. Non-standard: One must be careful on a construction sight. Non-standard: I will site the book I saw the statistics in.
T [ top ]
Temblor and trembler. A temblor is an earthquake. A trembler is something that trembles.
Than and then. Than is a grammatical particle and preposition associated with comparatives, whereas then is an adverb and a noun. In certain dialects, the two words are usually homophones because they are function words with reduced vowels, and this may cause speakers to confuse them. Standard: I like pizza more than lasagne. Standard: We ate dinner, then went to the movies. Non-standard: You are a better person then I am.
There, their, they're, and there're. There refers to the location of something. Their means "belonging to them". They're is a contraction of "They are". There're is a contraction of "there are". Standard: There're five of them and they're all coming to the restaurant for their dinner; we will meet them there.
There's, where's, etc. A common spoken mistake is using a singular contraction when it should be plural in words like there's and where's. Non-standard: Where's the cars? (Should be Where're) Non-standard: There's many types of cars. (Should be There're)
Trimester. A trimester is a period of three months. Because it is most commonly used in conjunction with a nine-month academic year or a nine-month term of human pregnancy, it is sometimes wrongly assumed that trimester is simply a synonym for one third. Standard: One calendar year contains four trimesters.
<Non-standard: Without further delay, then, comes ESPN.com's annual (and overdue) First Trimester Report, ushering folks back to the office by taking stock of the season's opening third
V [ top ]
Venal and venial. These words are sometimes confused; venal means "corrupt", "able to be bribed", or "for sale"; venial means "pardonable, not serious". Standard: According to Catholic doctrine, eating meat on a Friday is a venial sin, but murder is a mortal sin.
Standard: All ages have examples of venal politicians.
W [ top ]
Won't and wont. Won't is a contraction for "will not", while wont is a rare, slightly archaic word meaning "accustomed" or "inclined to" (as an adjective) or "habit or custom" (as a noun). The two are traditionally pronounced the same; wont is not traditionally pronounced like want, so some dictionaries now give this as an option. Standard: He won't let me drive his car. Standard: He spent the morning reading, as he was wont to do. Standard: He took a walk in the evening, as was his wont. Non-standard: I wont need to go to the supermarket after all.
Y [ top ]
You're, your, yore, and ewer. While they sound the same in many dialects, in standard written English they all have separate meanings. You're is a contraction for "you are", and your is a possessive pronoun meaning "belonging to you". When in doubt, just see whether you can logically expand it to "you are". The third homophone, yore, is an archaism meaning "in the distant past", and is almost always used in the phrase "in days of yore". The fourth is the name of a once common piece of household equipment made obsolete by indoor plumbing: the large jug holding washing water. Standard: When driving, always wear your seatbelt. Standard: If you're going out, please be home by ten o'clock. Non-standard: You're mother called this morning. Non-standard: Your the first person to notice my new haircut today!
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