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Words that sound alike (homonyms):  The following will be part of your quest each week



Quest #55 January 6th 2012


1. Accept, Except:


Accept is a verb meaning to receive. Except is usually a preposition meaning excluding. I will accept all the packages except that one. Except is also a verb meaning to exclude. Please except that item from the list.


2. Affect, Effect:


Affect is usually a verb meaning to influence.  Effect is usually a noun meaning result. The drug did not affect the disease, and it had several adverse sideeffects. Effect can also be a verb meaning to bring about. Only the president can effect such a dramatic change.



3. Allusion, Illusion:


An Allusion is an indirect reference. An illusion is a misconception or false impression. Did you catch my allusion to Shakespeare? Mirrors give the room an illusion of depth.



4. Capital, Capitol:


Capital refers to a city, capitol to a building where lawmakers meet. Capital also refers to wealth or resources. The capitol has undergone extensive renovations. The residents of the state capital protested the development plans.



5. Climactic, Climatic:


Climactic is derived from climax, the point of greatest intensity in a series or progression of events. Climatic is derived from climate; it refers to meteorological conditions. The climactic period in the dinosaurs' reign was reached just before severe climatic conditions brought on the ice age.




Quest #56 January 16th 2012


1. Elicit, Illicit:


Elicit is a verb meaning to bring out or to evoke. Illicit is an adjective meaning unlawful. The reporter was unable to elicit information from the police aboutillicit drug traffic.



2. Emigrate from, Immigrate to:


Emigrate means to leave one country or region to settle in another. In 1900, my grandfather emigrated from RussiaImmigrate means to enter another country and reside there. Many Mexicans immigrate to the U.S. to find work.




Emigrate begins with the letter E, as does Exit. When you emigrate, you exit a country.


Immigrate begins with the letter I, as does In. When you immigrate, you go into a country


3. Principle, Principal:


Principal is a noun meaning the head of a school or an organization or a sum of money. Principle is a noun meaning a basic truth or law. The principaltaught us many important life principles.



To recognize the spelling of Principal first think of yourself as a greedy opportunist. You definitely would want to be a pal of anyone who is in a position of power or anything to do with money. This principal has pal in it.


4. Than, Then:


Than is a conjunction used in comparisons; then is an adverb denoting time. That pizza is more than I can eat. Tom laughed, and then we recognized him.




Than is used to compare; both words have the letter a in them.


Then tells when; both are spelled the same, except for the first letter.



5. There, Their, They're:


There is an adverb specifying place; it is also an expletive. Adverb:   Sylvia is lying there unconscious. Expletive: There are two plums leftTheir is a possessive pronoun. They're is a contraction of they areFred and Jane finally washed their car. They're later than usual today.



If you are using there to tell the reader where, both words have h-e-r-e. Here is also a place.

If you are using their as a possessive pronoun, you are telling the reader what
"they own. Their has h-e-i-r, which also means heir, as in someone who inherits something. Both words have to do with ownership.


They're is a contraction of they are. Sound out they are in the sentence and see if it works. If it does not, it must be one of the previous versions.



Quest #1 (3rd nine weeks)


1. To, Too, Two:


To is a preposition; too is an adverb; two is a number.  Too many of your shots slice to the left, but the last two were right on the mark.



If you are trying to spell out the number, it is always t-w-o.   Two has a w which is the first letter in word. The opposite of word is number.


Too is usually used as  also when adding or including some additional information. Whenever you want to include something else, think of it as adding;  therefore you
also need to add an extra  o.


2. Your, You're:


Your is a possessive pronoun; you're is a contraction of you areYou're going to catch a cold if you don't wear your coat.



Sound out you are in the sentence. If it works in the sentence it can be written as
you're. If it sounds awkward, it is probably supposed to be   Your.

EXAMPLE: You're shoes are muddy. "You are shoes are muddy" does not work, so 
it should be written as: Your shoes are muddy.



(Next are Words that don't sound alike but confuse us anyway)



3. Lie, Lay:


Lie is an intransitive verb meaning to recline or rest on a surface. Its principal parts are lie, lay, lainLay is a transitive verb meaning to put or place. Its principal parts are lay, laid.


Hint: Chickens lay eggs. I lie down when I am tired.


4. Set, Sit:


Set is a transitive verb meaning to put or to place. Its principal parts are set, set, setSit is an intransitive verb meaning to be seated. Its principal parts aresit, sat, satShe set the dough in a warm corner of the kitchen. The cat sat in the warmest part of the room.


5. Who, Which, That:


Do not use which to refer to persons. Use who instead. That, though generally used to refer to things, may be used to refer to a group or class of people. I just saw a boy who was wearing a yellow banana costume. I have to go to math next, which is my hardest class. Where is the book that I was reading?

Quest #2 (TBA)

Quest #2 (Problem Phrases)


1. Supposed to: Do not omit the d. Suppose to is incorrect.


Used to: Same as above. Do not write use to. 


2. Toward: There is no s at the end of the word.


3. Anyway: Also has no ending s. Anyways is nonstandard.


4. Couldn't care less: Be sure to make it negative. (Not I could care less.)


5. All walks of life: Not woks of life. This phrase does not apply to oriental cooking.




Quest #3


for – on behalf of
fore - front

four – one more than three


forth - onward
fourth – number four


marry – to wed
merry – very happy


peak – highest point
peek - glance

Pique- gain interest 


sew – connect with thread
so – as a result
sow - plant





ade – drink type, as in lemonade 
aid – to help or assist
aide - assistant


affect - change
effect – result or consequence


air – atmosphere (the stuff we breathe) 
err – to make a mistake


aisle - walkway
I’ll – I will
isle - island


allowed - permitted
aloud – out loud


ant – picnic pest
aunt – relative, as in your mom’s sister


bare - uncovered
bear – grizzly animal



base – bottom part
bass – deep or low



bite - nibble
byte – 8 bits (computer data)


blew – past of blow
blue – color of ocean



brake – stop pedal
break – smash



brows - eyebrows
browse – look around


buy - purchase
by - beside


cell – compartment 
sell - vend




cite - quote
site - location


council - committee
counsel - guidance


creak - squeak
creek – stream of water


crews - gangs
cruise – ride on a boat


dear - darling
deer – woodland animal


dew – morning mist
do - operate
due - payable


die – cease to exist
dye - color


dual - double
duel - battle


ewe – female sheep
you - second-person personal pronoun


fair - equal
fare - price


for – on behalf of
fore - front

four – one more than three


forth - onward
fourth – number four


knew – did know
new – not old


gorilla – big ape

guerrilla - warrior


grease - fat
Greece – country in Europe

groan - moan
grown – form of grow

hair – head covering
hare – rabbit-like animal

hall - passageway
haul - tow

halve – cut in two parts
have - possess

hay – animal food
hey – interjection to get attention

heal - mend
heel – back of foot

hi - hello
high – up far

hoarse - croaky
horse – riding animal

hole - opening 
whole - entire

holey – full of holes
holy - divine
wholly - entirely

hour – sixty minutes
our – belonging to us

knead - massage
need - desire

knight – feudal horseman
night - evening

knot – tied rope
not - negative

know – have knowledge
no – opposite of yes

lead – metal
led - was the leader

lessen – make smaller
lesson - class

loan - lend
lone - solitary

made – did make
maid - servant

mail - postage
male – opposite of female

marry – to wed
merry – very happy

meat – animal protein
meet - encounter

none – not any
nun – woman who takes special vows

oar – boat paddle
or - otherwise
ore - mineral

oh – expression of surprise or awe
owe – be obligated

one - single
won – did win

overdo – do too much
overdue – past due date

pail - bucket
pale – not bright

pain - hurt
pane – window glass

peace - calm
piece - segment

peak – highest point
peek - glance

plain - ordinary
plane – flight machine plane - flat surface

pole - post
poll - survey

poor – not rich
pour – make flow

pray – implore God
prey - quarry

principal – most important
principle - belief

rain – water from sky
rein - bridle

rap - tap
wrap – drape around

real - factual
reel - roll

right – correct; not left
write - scribble

ring - encircle
wring - squeeze

role - function
roll - rotate

rose - flower
rows - lines

sail – move by wind power
sale – bargain price

scene - landscape
seen - viewed

sea – ocean segment
see – observe with eyes

seam – joining edge
seem - appear

sew – connect with thread
so – as a result
sow - plant


soar - ascend
sore – hurt place

sole - single
soul - essence

some – a few
sum - amount

steal - swipe
steel - alloy

tail – animal’s appendage
tale - story

their – belonging to them
there – at that place
they’re – they are

to - toward
too - also

toe – foot appendage
tow – pull along

vary - differ
very - much

wail - howl
whale – huge swimming mammal

waist – area below ribs
waste - squander

wait – kill time
weight – measurable load

war - battle
wore – did wear

warn - caution
worn - used

way - path
weigh – measure mass

we - us
wee - tiny

weak – not strong
week – period of seven days

weather - climate
whether - if

which - that
witch – sorcerer

your – belonging to you
you’re – you are




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