Five commonly misunderstood phrases in English

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We all make mistakes and that is not the problem. The problem is not dealing with the mistakes. In our series “Common Errors in English”, we are trying to discuss the commonly misunderstood phrases in English and the ways to avoid them. If you need specific help in any particular aspects of learning English, or PTE academic in particular, please feel free to write it in the comments.

Anyway or Anyways?

Although it is common to say anyways in North American English (informal), avoid adding “-S” at the end. The other words such as “afterward” or “toward” are used without “-s” in North American English but used with “-S” in British English.

Further or Farther?

Further indicates advancement. When you to talk about the next idea or the next progression of logic, you should use further.

I do not want to discuss any further

Farther is the comparative form of “Far”. It indicates distance and should be used for the same.

I cannot walk any farther

In some situations, both words may make similar sense.

How farther/further have you read?

I.e. or e.g.

“I.e.” is used to explain exactly what the previous thing that you have mentioned means (from Latin id est).

the basic essentials of life, i.e. housing, food and water

“e.g.” is the contracted form of the Latin expression  exempli gratia’ which simply means “for example”.

I have many popular pets, e.g. cats and dogs

Fewer or Less

Both of these words are comparative adjectives. Fewer is the comparative form of a few and less is the comparative form of a little. They indicate a lower value than the reference. However, fewer is used to talk about things we can count, whereas less is used to talk about things we cannot count.

There were fewer people in the party than the last time.

There was less money left.

Emigrate or Immigrate

First, remember that emigrate has single “m” and immigrate has double “m”. In addition to this, emigrate means leaving a country (Exit), but immigrate means entering a country (In).

More people immigrated to than emigrated from Australia.

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