Commonly misused words in the English Language

Disinterested versus uninterested.

Whilst watching the news or reading newspapers, a large number of journalists seem to use the word disinterested rather than uninterested. If someone is disinterested, it doesn't mean they are bored or not interested in what is going on, it means they do not have a vested interest in something, they are impartial. Uninterested is the one to go for when someone doesn't want to listen to someone else's point of view.

Lend versus borrow

This is a common one amongst the younger generation, they seem unable to grasp the concept that if you lend something, it is the act of giving something to someone else with the intention that it is returned at some point. Borrow is the act of receiving something with the intention of returning it in the future.

Their versus there versus they're

Frequently seen confused in forums and blogs, their is the possessive, as in their chair or their book. There is positional and they're is the shortened version of they are. A good illustration of all three in action is 'they're in their car over there'.

Stationary versus stationery

Often confused, stationary with an 'a' means not moving but stationery with an 'e' describes writing materials.

Your versus you're

Another one that catches so many people out. It's not that difficult really; 'your' is the possessive, your book as opposed to my book and so on. The apostrophe in you're indicates a missing letter, in this the letter 'a', so it is actually the contracted version of 'you are'.

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