Be careful in using the following words or you make some errors
Instead of having a proper meal, he just eats a few pills.*
Instead of having a proper meal, he just takes a few pills.
take a pill, tablet, aspirin, medicine, etc. (NOT eat): 'Why do you take
sleeping pills every night?'
The medicine proved very efficient.*
The medicine proved very effective.
efficient = working quickly and without waste: 'The more efficient the engine, the less petrol it uses.' 'Since the new software was installed, library services have become much more efficient.'
effective = having the desired effect: 'There are many effective ways of using computers for training purposes.' 'The advertisement was simple, but remarkably effective.'
We ensure you that we will do our best.*
We assure you that we will do our best.
ensure = make certain (that something will happen or exist): 'We need to ensure that our prices remain competitive.' 'Measures are being taken to ensure public safety.'
assure = tell someone that something will definitely happen or is definitely true, especially to make them feel less worried: 'I assure you that the report will be on your desk by tomorrow lunchtime at the latest.' 'The doctor assured me that there was no need for alarm.'
I want to establish a cooperative store.*
I want to open a cooperative store.
You establish a major company or organization that will probably run forever or for a very long time: 'As soon as Rwanda became independent, it established its own national bank.' 'Most of the money is to be used to establish local industries and mobilize the workforce.'
You start or start up a small company or organization: 'They intend to use the money to start up their own taxi business.' You open a new shop, restaurant, shopping mall etc.: 'They're planning to open a small hotel just outside town.'
5. everybody/every body
There aren't enough jobs for every body.*
There aren't enough jobs for everybody.
everybody (one word) = each person; everyone: 'One day everybody will be able to travel to the moon.'
every body (two words) = each (dead) body: 'Every body was collected from the battlefield and given a proper burial.'
6. everyday/ every day
The sun shines here everyday.*
The sun shines here every day.
everyday (one word) = not special or unusual in any way: 'A good photographer can make everyday objects look rare and special.'
every day (two words) = each day: 'Every day I try to learn ten new words.'
I'm doing the course to expand my job opportunities.*
I'm doing the course to increase my job opportunities.
expand = become (or make something become) larger in size, area or activity: metals expand when they are heated.' 'Within three years this small business had expanded into a chain of department stores.' increase = become (or make something become) larger in number, amount, cost, etc.: 'Sales of new cars increased from 1.2 million in 1993 to 1.8 million in 1994.' 'By the year 2020 the government aims to increase the number of secondary schools by 50%.'
The epidemic began to expand rapidly.*
The epidemic began to spread rapidly.
When you are talking about a disease, fire, war, social problem, feeling, etc, use spread: 'The army was called in to stop the riots from spreading.' 'Dissatisfaction with the present government seems to be spreading.'
I expect that you will be able to come to the party.*
I hope that you will be able to come to the party.
Use expect when you have a reason for thinking that something is going to happen: 'Her husband doesn't like travelling so I expect she'll come on her own.' Use hope to express a wish: 'I hope you have a safe journey.'
His paintings have been exposed in art galleries all over the world.*
His paintings have been exhibited in art galleries all over the world.
expose = let something be seen, especially something that is usually hidden: 'He undid his shirt to expose a white hairless chest.' display/exhibit a work of art: 'The gallery exhibits mainly contemporary sculpture and photography.'
11. too fat/overweight
His wife is a little bit too fat.*
His wife is slightly overweight.
In western society being fat is considered to be unattractive. The word fat is common but it is not polite. To say the same thing in a less direct way, use words such as overweight (weighing more than is normal), plump (having a pleasantly rounded shape), chubby (to describe babies and children), stout (short and rather fat), or large/big: 'Large people sometimes have difficulty finding fashionable clothes to fit them.' Another way to avoid fat is to use a phrase such as put on weight or (have) a weight problem: 'He's worried about his weight problem.'
I apologize for our fault and will send you a full refund.*
I apologize for our mistake and will send you a full refund.
Use fault in connection with machines, electrical equipment, and someone's character: 'It sounds like there's a fault in one of the loudspeakers.' 'The secret of a successful relationship is to accept each other's faults.' In connection with spellings, essays, calculations, decisions, etc., use mistake: 'There are always a lot of mistakes in Ivan's work.' 'We all make mistakes.'
13. find/find out
I'd like to find why nobody likes me.*
I'd like to find out why nobody likes me.
find = discover something by chance or by looking for it: 'Did you ever find the sunglasses you lost?' 'I can't find my comb. Have you seen it anywhere?' find out = get information about something that you want to know: 'He's gone to find out which gate the plane leaves from.' 'I think we should find out exactly what's missing before we start accusing people.'
A school like Summerhill will not fit for everybody.*
A school like Summerhill will not suit everybody.
fit = (of clothes, shoes, rings etc) be the correct size and shape for you: 'These trousers don't fit me any more.' 'The next size up should fit.' suit = be suitable: 'Try and choose a career that suits you.' 'You should buy a dictionary that suits your needs, not just anyone.'
15. forever/for ever
Nobody lives forever.*
Nobody lives for ever.
forever = continually; all the time: 'He is forever asking me for more pocket money.' for ever = for always: 'He promised that he would love me for ever and a
A good novel can give you a lot of fun.*
A good novel can give you a lot of pleasure.
When you are talking about something that provides intellectual or spiritual satisfaction, such as a piano concert or a visit to an art gallery, use enjoyment enjoyable or pleasure/ pleasurable: 'Reading is her one source of pleasure.' 'We spent an enjoyable afternoon at the art gallery.' Fun is usually used in connection with light-hearted events and activities such as games, picnics, or children's parties: 'John's parties are always great fun.' 'Let's go to the beach and have some fun.'
It will be more funny to go by bus.*
It will be more fun to go by bus.
Someone or something that is funny makes you laugh: 'I always laugh at Jenny's jokes - they're really funny.' 'The funniest part was when her father-in-law sat on the wedding cake.' Someone or something that is fun gives you pleasure or enjoyment: 'The Disneyland trip sounds like a lot of fun.'
The shop assistant asked me gently what I wanted.*
The shop assistant asked me politely what I wanted.
gently = in a way that will not hurt or damage anything: 'She held the little bird very gently.' politely = in a way that shows good manners: 'He politely refused her
offer, saying that he didn't want to trouble her.'
19. get off/get out of
I got off my car to inspect the damage.*
I got out of my car to inspect the damage.
get off a bus, train, plane, boat, ship, bicycle: 'The bus driver will tell you
where to get off.' 'I got off the train at the wrong station.'
get out of a car, taxi, boat, train, lift: 'Getting out of a boat can be quite
She was a very glad person, and very intelligent.*
She was a very happy person, and very intelligent.
glad (not used in front of a noun) = pleased and happy about something in particular: 'I'm so glad your wife is feeling better.' 'I'm glad it wasn't my turn to pay.' happy = enjoying life: 'She's a lot happier now that the examinations are over.'
We reached our goal just after three o'clock .*
We reached our destination just after three o'clock.
goal = something that you hope to achieve: 'The company's goal is to double its share of the personal computer market.' destination = the place that you are travelling to: 'The immigration officer wanted to know my destination and how long I was planning to stay.'
Her car was involved in a heavy accident.*
Her car was involved in a serious accident.
a serious accident/crime/illness etc. (NOT heavy)
Turton and Heaton. 1996. Longman Dictionary of Common Errors. England: Pearson Education Limited