Do you know all of these commonly misused words?

EDUCATION

Staff

5 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

There were so many rules learned during elementary school, it's understandable if you don't remember them all. How can you compare the excitement in learning about fire protection, "Stop, Drop and Roll" to the correct usage or "Capitol", "capitol" or "capital" in a sentence? But as an adult, command of the vernacular is an important skill to have. That's why this quiz focuses on those words that can make you hesitate. Is it "affect" or "effect"?  Is it "you're" or "your"?  This quiz will tune up your terminology so you can better express the brilliance within you. After taking it, you won't be caught up trying to remember whether to use "irregardless" or "regardless" in a conversation. For all intents and purposes, (or is it intensive purposes?) this quiz is a perfect refresher to enhance your linguistic abilities.

However, if you pride yourself on your ability to use vocabulary precisely and correctly, then get ready to breeze through this quiz. After you earn a high score you can  ("lay" or "lie") back on the couch and relish the reward of a job well done. But don't be under the ("allusion" or "illusion") that you'll score 100% until you've tried it. Take the quiz now and dazzle us with your dictionary recall.  


The Empire State Building is taller __________ the Chrysler Building.

"Than" is for comparison, and "then" tells when.

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__________ never going to win that race if you don't start training.

"You're" = "you are," and never anything else.

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__________ of what you think should happen, we're still going ahead with the renovation.

"Irregardless" seems to be gaining a foothold in the language, but it's not a word. Just say "regardless."

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I'm done with the job for all __________, but I haven't had my exit interview yet.

It sounds like "intensive purposes," but it's "intents and purposes."

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I'm not under any __________ that our plane will actually leave on time tonight.

An allusion is an indirect reference. An illusion is a misguided perception or belief.

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I'm going to __________ down in bed and take a nice, long nap.

Again, "lay" requires a direct object: You lay something down. "Lie" does not require a direct object: You lie down in bed.

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My grandparents __________ here from Ireland.

"Emigrate" and "immigrate" are very similar in both spelling and meaning. When the focus of the sentence is on the place the person left, it's "emigrate." When the focus is on the place the person ended up, it's "immigrated." It's the "here" right after the verb that puts the focus on where hey wound up in this case.

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The __________ quilt looked lovely in the master bedroom.

"Simplistic" actually means "overly or naively simple," like a simplistic explanation or a simplistic view of life. A quilt is just simple.

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The child's tantrum had absolutely no __________ on his mother. She just took his hand and quietly led him out of the store.

When we're talking about nouns, "effect" is a change that resulted from some kind of action. "Affect" is a person's emotional demeanor.

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The __________ of New York is Albany.

The capital of New York is Albany — "capital" is for cities (and money matters). "Capitol" always refers to a building, and "Capitol" with a capital C refers to the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

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Don't __________ the rules: __________ __________ for your protection.

"Flaunt" means to show off, and "flout" means to break the rules. "Their" is possessive, "they're" means they are and "there" always refers to a place.

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On __________, I refuse to buy from any cosmetics company that tests on animals.

"Principle" always refers to a rule or belief.

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The teacher's pointed questions failed to __________ any answers from the class.

"Illicit" is an adjective referring to going against morals or rules. "Elicit" is a verb meaning to draw out or evoke.

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When I __________ down in bed last night, I fell right asleep.

But of course it's not always so straightforward. "Lay" is also the past tense of "lie," so it's not totally true that "lay" always needs a direct object. You can also "lay" on a bed (but only in the past).

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Lisa said she __________ if Tony went to the party with another girl. They had broken up weeks ago.

If you want to get literal about a figure of speech, "couldn't care less" is correct. If you "could care less," you're saying that it is possible you could care even less. But if you <i>couldn't</i> care less, you are officially at rock bottom of caring. Lisa could not possibly care any less about Tony.

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