J. Alexander (ENG 101)
College Composition I

Usage Examination

Students will take an objective exam covering a selection of popularly misused and confused words. The words to be included on the exam are listed below and students can find assistance with the usage rules by clicking on the word-group. The information is provided on the website of Professor Paul Brians of Washington State University (http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors). The few words in boldface are completely incorrect structures and should never be used.

1.      accept / except

26.  emigrate / immigrate

2.      adapt / adopt

27.  eminent / imminent

3.      advice / advise

28.  empathy / sympathy

4.      affect / effect

29.  envious / jealous

5.      already / all ready

30.  epigram / epigraph / epitaph / epithet

6.      allude / elude

31.  faze / phase

7.      allusion / illusion

32.  good / well

8.      alright / all right

33.  hanged / hung

9.      ambiguous / ambivalent

34.  hear / here

10.  assure / ensure / insure

35.  imply / infer

11.  beside / besides

36.  interment / internment

12.  breath / breathe

37.  lay / lie

13.  capital / capitol

38.  lead / led

14.  cite / site / sight

39.  lose / loose

15.  close / clothes

40.  passed / past

16.  coarse / course

41.  personal / personnel

17.  complement / compliment

42.  precede / proceed

18.  continual / continuous

43.  principal / principle

19.  could of / could have

44.  stationary / stationery

20.  council / counsel

45.  they’re / their / there

21.  desert / dessert

46.  though / thought / through

22.  device / devise

47.  to / too / two

23.  drank / drunk

48.  use to / used to

24.  dyeing / dying

49.  weather / whether

25.  elicit / illicit

50.  were / where