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How Well Do You Know These Commonly Misused Words?

Whet your appetite with this quiz.

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Choose the right words to fill in the blanks:

  1. Correct
    Incorrect
    fewer
    Correct
    Incorrect
    less
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "I can cook, but only if the recipe has fewer than three ingredients."

    "Fewer" is used for plural/countable nouns, and "less" is for singular nouns.

  2. Correct
    Incorrect
    use
    Correct
    Incorrect
    used
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "A long time ago, we used to be friends."

    "Used to" is a past-tense verb, so it needs that D!

  3. Correct
    Incorrect
    adieu
    Correct
    Incorrect
    ado
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Without further ado, here are the top 20 baby names of 2015."

    "Ado" means fuss or trouble; "adieu" means farewell.

  4. Correct
    Incorrect
    wet
    Correct
    Incorrect
    whet
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "These culinary creations will whet your appetite."

    "Wet" means to make wet, while "whet" means to make sharper or stronger.

  5. Correct
    Incorrect
    peak
    Correct
    Incorrect
    peek
    Correct
    Incorrect
    pique
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Here's a sneak peek at the monsters in the new Doctor Who Christmas special."

    A peek is a look, and a peak is the top of a mountain. Pique is an emotional response to indignity (or a verb that means to cause such a response).

  6. Correct
    Incorrect
    have
    Correct
    Incorrect
    of
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The writers should have known better than to kill off a favorite character."

    "Should of" may sound similar to "should've," but it's not good grammar!

  7. Correct
    Incorrect
    Irregardless
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Regardless
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Regardless of how much they practiced, the players knew they were going to lose."

    "Irregardless" is a nonstandard form of "regardless," and most dictionaries discourage using it.

  8. Correct
    Incorrect
    tenderhooks
    Correct
    Incorrect
    tenterhooks
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The world is on tenterhooks waiting for Beyoncé's next album."

    Being on tenterhooks means being kept in suspense. "Tenderhooks" is not a real thing.

  9. Correct
    Incorrect
    farther
    Correct
    Incorrect
    further
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The weather just gets worse the farther west you go."

    "Farther" refers to distance; "further" refers to degree.

  10. Correct
    Incorrect
    do
    Correct
    Incorrect
    due
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "To keep it simple, you can make do with concealer, mascara, and a neutral lipstick."

    To "make do" means to get along with what you have, i.e., to make (something) do (well enough for your purposes).

  11. Correct
    Incorrect
    baited
    Correct
    Incorrect
    bated
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Fans waited with bated breath for Zayn Malik to break his silence."

    To bate is to diminish, so "with bated breath" means they were nearly holding their breath with anticipation.

  12. Correct
    Incorrect
    intensive purposes
    Correct
    Incorrect
    intents and purposes
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "For all intents and purposes, it was a declaration of war."

    The phrase is "for all intents and purposes" — not just the intensive purposes, all of them!

  13. Correct
    Incorrect
    statute
    Correct
    Incorrect
    statue
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "By the time police started investigating, the statute of limitations had expired."

    A statute is a written law or regulation; a statue is a sculpted figure.

  14. Correct
    Incorrect
    composed
    Correct
    Incorrect
    comprised
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "They formed a judging panel composed of 11 chefs and bakers."

    These words are sometimes used interchangeably, but they're technically opposites: To compose is to make up; to comprise is to be made up of.

  15. Correct
    Incorrect
    implies
    Correct
    Incorrect
    infers
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The Pokédex implies that humans nearly hunted the Farfetch'd into extinction."

    To imply is to suggest; to infer is to guess or surmise.

  16. Correct
    Incorrect
    seated
    Correct
    Incorrect
    seeded
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Their deep-seated frustration had simmered for decades."

    "Deep-seeded" may sound right, but it's actually "deep-seated" — picture someone seated firmly on a throne.

  17. Correct
    Incorrect
    jibe
    Correct
    Incorrect
    jive
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "If you don't jibe well with dairy, go ahead and leave off the cheese."

    To jibe is to be in agreement; to jive is to tease (or to dance to jive music).

  18. Correct
    Incorrect
    peaked
    Correct
    Incorrect
    peeked
    Correct
    Incorrect
    piqued
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "When you see a SALE sign, your curiosity is piqued."

    To pique is to cause an emotional response, like curiosity or annoyance. "Peaked" means at a high point, and "peeked" means looked.

  19. Correct
    Incorrect
    e.g.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    i.e.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "My favorite animals are rodents — e.g., gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs."

    "E.g." stands for "exempli gratia," which means "for example," while "i.e." stands for "id est," or "that is" — so use e.g. for examples and i.e. for providing clarification.

  20. Correct
    Incorrect
    regime
    Correct
    Incorrect
    regimen
    Correct
    Incorrect
    regiment
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Starting a workout regimen can be intimidating, but it's also totally rewarding."

    A regimen is a plan for staying healthy, whereas a regime is a form of government and a regiment is a military unit. Totally different!

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