Common Word Errors 

To practice avoiding common word errors, try the Quiz!

Accept, Except

  • Accept means "receive":
    • "I accepted the report."
  • Except means "to leave out" or "exclude":
    • "He graded everyone's assignment except mine."
    • "The recommendation excepted several crucial steps."

Affect, Effect

  • Affect as a verb means "to have an influence on":
    • "The weather affected our decision."
  • Effect is generally a noun meaning "result":
    • "I wondered what the effect would be."
  • Effect can also be used as a verb meaning "to make happen" or "to bring about":
    •  We will effect a change in the public's perception of our company."

Then, Than

  • Then indicates time, order: First I will order the pizza, and then I will go to pick it up.
  • Than is used for making comparisons: He is taller than I am.

There, They're, Their

  • There indicates a location (Put it over there) or is used to introduce a sentence in which the verb comes before the subject: There is no hope.
  • Their is a possessive form of they: The men worked on their cars on weekends.
  • They�re is a contraction for they are: Ask them if they're going to the game.

Too, to, two

  • too means also, in addition, or to an excessive extent : I want to go too; I am too tired for a party today.
  • to is a preposition (to the river) or part of an infinitive (to play): I want to go to the river; I wanted to play all day long.
  • two means the number 2: Would you like one cookie or two?

Weather, whether

  • I want to know whether you will be on time.
  • What is the weather report for the day?

Last Updated: 8/29/13