Writer's Choice Grade 6

Unit 16: Glossary of Special Usage Problems


When you use a word processing program on a computer, the spell check function can catch most spelling errors. However, the spell check function will not catch usage errors like ”they're new pet.“ After all, the word they're is spelled correctly. You will have to carefully proofread your writing to find and correct usage errors. In this example you would change they're to their.

Words like their, there, and they're are troublesome, or confusing, words. Some other examples of troublesome words are accept and except; its and it's; lay and lie; than and then; and to, too, and two. To master using these troublesome words review the lists of misused words in this unit (pp. 454-463). Add any of these examples that especially give you trouble to a personal proofreading checklist. If you are using a word processing program, use your word processor's "Find" feature to search for any troublesome words from your checklist. Carefully review each sentence to see if you have used the word correctly.

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