English on the Internet - Useful English


by Ruda, he used to learn English

Advice / Advise

Advice is a noun;  Advise is a verb.

The counsellor advised me to take a writing course; I will follow her advice.


As far as / Until

As far as refers to distance; Until refers to time.

She walked as far as the corner and then turned back. She said she could stay only until  ten o'clock.


Beat / Win

One beats teams or opponents; One wins games.

Tracey won the tennis match by beating Sandra in three sets.


Do / Make

The differences between these verbs are idiomatic. Both have the meaning to accomplish or to perform. Note these uses:

This morning I made the bad and then made breakfast. Afterwards, I did the dishes. I always do the housework before I do my exercises.

I made a phone call, but I made a mistake when I dialled.


In / Into

In suggests position within a certain space; Into suggests action toward a certain point.

I made sure there was water in the pool before I dived into it.

Rob / Steal

One steals an object; One robs a person or thing.

They robbed the bank and then stole a car to get away.


Beside / Besides 

Beside means next to; Besides  means in addition to.

Besides me, three others went on the trip. I sat beside Bart on the bus.


Few / Less 

Few is used only with plural countable nouns.

Less is used only with no countable nouns.

few  books                   less  time

few  pencils                  less   sugar


Few / A few ;  Little / A little

Few and little have a negative force and suggest the absence of some quantity or thing.

A few and A little have a positive force and suggest the presence of a quantity or thing, although in small amount.

He has many enemies and few friends.

He is not completely alone. He still has a few  friends.


Forget / Leave

One can leave something in a particular place, but one cannot forget  something in a particular place.

I have forgotten my book. I left  it at home.

( Not: I have forgotten my book at home).


No / Not

No is an adjective used to modify nouns.

Not is an adverb used to modify verbs and before much, many, any, enough, and any article or numeral modifying a noun.

She has no money and does not speak their language.

Not  many people came; there were probably not  even 50 there.


Too / Very

Very means much or to a large degree.

Too always suggest something that we need or can use. Too  is often  followed by an infinitive construction.

This book is very big, but it will go into my pocket.

This book is too  big to go into my pocket.


Borrow / Lend

One borrow something from someone or something;

One lends  something to someone or something. ( Loan is a synonym for lend ).

Lend  me your pen, please; I only want to borrow it for a minute.

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