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Commonly Misspelled and Misused Words: Writing Review Practice Exercises

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Review the lesson for Commonly Misspelled and Misused Words: Writing Review Study Guide.

Practice Exercise

Circle the correctly spelled word in each sentence.

  1. I don't even want to think about it, because I (could/couldn't) care less.
  2. She has two (less/fewer) cookies (then/than) I have.
  3. I feel (bad/badly) about the way I was treated.
  4. Chris is tired and wants to (lay/lie) down.
  5. (May/can) I ask who is calling?
  6. The members of the baseball team sometimes had arguments (between/among) them.
  7. To help them eat (their/they're/there) carrots, rabbits have (to/too/two) big front teeth.
  8. My friend (implied/inferred) that I should get her a gift for her birthday, so I (implied/inferred) that she wants me to get her one.
  9. How much (further/farther) are we going to walk?
  10. Sometimes it can be (quiet/quite/quit) difficult to be (quiet/quite/quit) in the library.
  11. For my letter, I'm going to need a piece of (stationary/stationery) and an (envelop/envelope).
  12. My dad likes having pie for (desert/dessert).
  13. My uncle is a member of the town (counsel/consul/council) and works in the (capital/capitol).
  14. (Beside/besides) having a younger brother, he also has a younger sister.
  15. My parents (assured/ensured/insured) our house to (assure/ensure/insure) that we would be okay if anything happened to it.

Answers

  1. couldn't
  2. If you could care less, then you care some, and if you don't even want to think about it, you probably don't care.

  3. fewer … than
  4. Because you can count individual cookies, you would use fewer instead of less. Than is used to make a comparison, whereas then refers to a place in time.

  5. badly
  6. When referring to emotions, use badly, not bad.

  7. lie
  8. Lie is to recline or be placed, while lay is the action of placing something. Chris wants to recline, not to place something.

  9. may
  10. May is asking for permission. You wouldn't ask the person on the phone if you were capable of asking who was calling. You would be asking the person's permission to find out who was calling.

  11. among
  12. There are more than two members of a baseball team, so among should be used.

  13. their … two
  14. Their is possessive and should be used to indicate that the carrots belong to the rabbits. Two is the number of big front teeth that they have.

  15. implied … inferred
  16. When someone implies something, he or she hints at it, and when another person infers something, he or she assumes it. The friend implied that she wanted a gift, so the writer inferred that he should get one.

  17. farther
  18. Farther refers to actual distance, whereas further refers to the addition of something. In this case, we are walking a distance, so farther is the correct word to use.

  19. quite … quiet
  20. Quite means fairly or relatively, so it makes sense in the first part of the sentence. Quiet is the correct word for the second part. The other words don't make sense in the sentence.

  21. stationery … envelope
  22. Stationery with an e, not stationary with an a, refers to a piece of paper on which you write. Envelope is a noun used to mail stationery, while envelop is a verb and, therefore, doesn't make sense in this context.

  23. dessert
  24. A person eats pie for dessert, which is the sweet course at the end of a meal. A desert is a hot, arid region. You can remember that dessert has two s's because everyone wants two helpings of dessert!

  25. council … capitol
  26. The town council is a governing body, and the capitol is an actual government building, not the city in which that building resides.

  27. besides
  28. Beside refers to the location of something, whereas besides is another way of saying in addition to. In the sentence, you could replace besides with in addition to, so that the sentence reads, In addition to having a younger brother, he also has a younger sister.

  29. insured … ensure
  30. To insure something means to secure it from harm. To ensure means to make certain. The parents secured the house from harm to make certain that the family would be okay.

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