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Saturday, August 27, 2016


Usually, never, seldom, always, generally
These expressions are almost always used with the simple present tense.
·         He seldom donates money to charities.
·         He always wears neat clothes.
·         You never thank me for anything.
·         I usually drink coffee in the morning.
At present, now, at the moment, right now etc
These expressions are usually used with the present continuous tense.
·         I am learning German now.
·         He is working on a new novel at present.
·         He is doing research in molecular biology at the moment.
Already, just, yet
These expressions are usually used with the present perfect tense.
·         I have already watched that movie.
·         We have not yet heard from them.
·         John has just left.
Since and for
These time expressions are usually used with the present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses.
·         We have lived here since 1999.
·         I have been working since morning.
·         It has been raining for hours.
·         We have been living here for six years.
Yesterday, last year, some years ago
Use these expressions with the simple past tense.
·         I met him yesterday.
·         His father died three years ago.
·         I visited Japan last year.
Tomorrow, next year, next month
These expressions are usually used with the simple future tense.
·         I will talk to him tomorrow.
·         We will move to our new home next month.
·         He will retire next year.



Ascent is a noun that denotes “the act of rising or mounting upward” or “an advance in social status or reputation”. Its verb form is ascend.
“China Car Surge Sends Palladium on Steepest Ascent in Six Years”
“Justin Trudeau’s Surprising Ascent”
The New Yorker
“The ascent from virtualization to the cloud”
Meanwhile, assent has two uses. It can be used as a noun which means “the expression of approval or agreement”.
“Historic one nation, one tax enabling bill gets Elders’ assent”
The New Indian Express
“Reports advise on obtaining informed consent from parents, assent from patient”
AAP News
“Same-sex Manx marriages can go ahead after Royal Assent”
BBC News
Assent may also be used as a verb that denotes “to express approval or agreement, typically officially.”
“President ‘reluctant’ to assent to Bill to cap interest rates, says Treasury CS”
K24 TV
“Chisi urges Mutharika not to assent to Customary Land bill: ‘Malawians should not pay fees for their land’”
Nyasa Times
“Raila urges President Kenyatta to assent to interest rate Bill”
Citizen TV
Sometimes, a third word, accent, gets thrown into the mix with these two. As a noun, it means “a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class”.
“Reader worries her obese stepdaughter with a Southern accent will not get a job”
Washington Post
“Is Siri Racist? Why Virtual Assistants Can’t Understand Accents”
Huffington Post
Accent may also be used as a verb which means “to emphasize a particular feature”.
“Latino players want real names, accented”
Bend Bulletin
To summarize, remember these three things: Ascent is usually used as a noun referring to the act of rising or mounting upward or climbing in social status. Assent is an expression of agreement. Lastly, accent is a way of speaking.


The words assureensure, and insure are among the common terms that are often misused and interchanged. This may be attributed to how all three words can be associated with the sureness of an outcome.
However, you can easily avoid confusion by remembering their distinct uses.
Assure is a verb which means “to tell someone something positively or confidently to dispel any doubts they may have” or “to make something certain to happen”.
“Assure Better Sleep During Holiday And Business Trips With This New Scientific Discovery”
Huffington Post
“Melania Trump wants to assure you there is nothing mysterious about her disappearing website”
The Washington Post
“U.S. officials assure Turkey of America’s support for democratically elected governments”
Los Angeles Times
Meanwhile, ensure is a verb which denotes “to make certain that something shall occur or be the case” or “to make sure that a problem shall not occur”.
“Independent Candidate Evan McMullin Could Help Ensure Clinton Victory”
Huffington Post
“Sadiq Khan calls for Brexit delay to ensure UK retains single market access”
The Independent
“How Precise Timekeeping at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Ensures the Right Gold-Medal Winners”
Lastly, insure is a verb which means “to secure or protect someone against a possible contingency” or “arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of property, or injury to or the death of someone, in exchange for regular advance payments to a company or government agency”.
“Someday Soon, You’ll Be Able to Insure Your Drone Racing League”
“In turnaround, FHA will insure mortgages with PACE assessments”
“Collapsed holiday company failed to insure against Brexit fallout”
The Times
As long as you remember their different uses, I assure you that you can always ensure that you are using these words properly and in turn, insure yourself from possible moments of embarassment.
Now, let’s see if you can complete these sentences using assure,ensure, or insure:
1.    John has been working out for the past three months to ___ that he is ready for the marathon.
2.    I ____ you that the police will protect us from those criminals.
3.    We are obligated to ____ our house from fire and other natural disasters.



To err on the side of something is to display more rather than less of that quality.
He is clever enough to understand that it is wise to err on the side of caution.
Be etched in
When something is etched in your mind, it is a memory that will not fade away.
That scene will be forever etched in my memory.
Even as
Even as means at the very same time as
Even if – despite the possibility that
Even if you offer me 1 billion dollars, I will not betray my country.
Even so – nevertheless
It is true that the British did some good in India – even so, colonialism is basically bad.
Even though – in spite of the fact that
Even though I had a headache, I enjoyed the movie.
Make an example of
To make an example of someone is to punish them as a warning to other people.
Make an exhibition of yourself
To make an exhibition of yourself is to behave very foolishly in public.
Explain yourself
To explain yourself is to justify your motives or behavior.
Explain something away
To explain something away is to make something less embarrassing by giving an excuse for it.
Be all eyes
When you are all eyes, you are watching something keenly.
Have an eye for something
When you have an eye for something, you are able to recognize and judge something wisely.

Friday, August 26, 2016


A hair’s breadth
A hair’s breadth is a very small margin.
Let your hair down
To let your hair down is to behave in a very relaxed way or wildly.
Split hairs
To split hairs is to make trivial distinctions.
Not do things by halves
Do things thoroughly.
Hammer something in / into
To hammer something in is to make it sit in someone’s mind by repeating it constantly.
Hammer something out
To hammer something out is to work out the details of an agreement.
Hand in glove
In close association
Hand to mouth
When you live hand to mouth, you meet only your immediate needs and you have no money in reserve.
When you are hands-on you directly participate in something.
·         He is a hands-on dad.
In hand
The job in hand is the job in progress.
On hand
If something is on hand, it is present and available.
Out of hand
If something goes out of hand, it becomes unavailable. To reject something out of hand is to reject it without taking time to think.
·         They rejected the proposal out of hand.
Get the hang of
To get the hang of something is to learn how to do something.
Hang around
To hang around is to wait around.
Hang on
To hang on to something is to hold it tightly. Hang on can also mean ‘wait for a short time’.
Hang out
To hang out is to spend time relaxing.
Hang up
To hang up is to end a telephone conversation abruptly by cutting the connection.

Friday, August 5, 2016




Here are a few tips to avoid this mistake.
Although you may encounter the word frequently on the internet or through text messaging, alot is not an actual word. You would not find it in a dictionary and it is generally considered a misspelling.
Below are some instances that alot was erroneously used:
“25 years of reform: alot done, more could’ve been done”
The Economic Times
“Vic Mensa: ‘There’s Alot Going On’ [EP Review]”
Guardian Liberty Voice
“The U.S. Bond Market Just Got Alot More Popular, ETF Tips to Win”
Fox Business
On the other hand, a lot is a two-word phrase made up of the indefinite article a and the noun lot, which means “a large amount or quantity, a great deal.”
“Yahoo Shareholders Could Have Done a Lot Worse”
“CEOs Are Paid A Lot Because CEOs Are Worth A Lot”
“Unlike the GOP, Cleveland Wants To Attract A Lot More Immigrants”
The Huffington Post
Two-word phrases with the same construction, such as a house, a boy, and a bird, are never written as ahouse, aboy, and abird so howalot came to be remains a mystery up to this day. A possible explanation for the confusion would be its similarity in spelling and pronounciation to the unrelated word allot.
Allot is a verb used to denote “to give or apportion something to someone as a share or task.”
“Rural police ask govt to allot 254 personnel”
Times of India
“NFL plan to allot $765M concussion settlement to ex-players, families”
USA Today
“Brazil to allot coffee cargoes”
The New York Times
To summarize, there should not be any confusion with the use of a lot and alot. The correct form requires a space–a lot–and the one without space, alot, is not an acceptable word.


 Despite the difference in meaning and pronounciation, people often get confused about advice and advise.
First, advice is a noun which means “an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do” or “an official notice concerning a business transaction.” See how advice is used as a noun in each headline:
“Fidelity Launches Automated Investment Advice Service”
Wall Street Journal
“Work Advice: She left for a better gig soon after starting. Is that okay?”
Washington Post
“Springer offers Trump advice on transitioning from TV to politics”
New York Daily News
On the other hand, advise is a verb that simply means “to give advice.” It is important for you to remember that just like any other regular verb ending in –e, advise has the forms advises, advised, and advising.
“Community colleges win grant to change how they advise students”
The Seattle Times
“Airbnb Hires Former Mayors to Advise, Lobby On Cities”
“7 Foods With Vitamin D: New Health Guidelines Advise Increasing Daily Intake”
Huffington Post UK
Despite the difference in usage, some writers actually get them mixed up sometimes.
“Here’s what Aamir Khan adviced mommy-to-be Kareena Kapoor Khan”
Times of India
“Mutunga gave advise, but JSC is already faltering in recruitments”
“Bangladesh’s communist party advices government to complete investigation, before reaching conclusion”
The Indian Express
You must also remember that advice as a noun referring to opinions or suggestions is an uncountable noun and has no plural form. If you want to refer to more than one advice, you can refer to them aspieces of advice or some advice.
“Nine Pieces of Advice For Launching Your Own Podcast”
“Let’s go! Some advice for smart traveling”
Chicago Tribune
Below are some writing mistakes on the plurality of advice:
“Carole and Pippa Middleton panned for silly lifestyle advices”
Daily Star
“Seven of Warren Buffett’s Best Investing Advices”
In summary, remember that if you are referring to the noun for your sentence, you should choose advice and if you are referring to the verb, you should opt for advise.