“Fewer” or “Less”? “One fewer” or “One less”?
“Fewer” is used with countable nouns and refers to quantities that you can count individually.
More than One - Subject Verb Agreement
When a noun phrase contains more than one, is it followed by a singular verb or a plural verb? The verb can be singular or plural depending on the noun that it modifies. (1) If it is a singular noun, the verb that modifies the noun is usually singular. (2) When “more than one” is followed by “of” and a plural noun, the verb that modifies the noun is plural. (3) If there is not a noun followed by “more than one”, the verb is normally singular, unless a multiplicity meaning rules.
This is what I learned about the usage of “Pardon”. I learnt both British and American English though I might have forgotten a lot of the British English I learnt.
I used the word “pardon” a lot when I was young. Maybe I did have a hearing problem back then. I usually said “pardon” whenever I had trouble hearing clearly or understanding what the other person was saying.
“Couldn’t care less” or “Could care less”?
The correct usage is “Couldn’t care less”. It means there is nothing more that I could care. I don’t care at all so it is impossible for me to care any less.
Flat Adverbs vs. Adverbs with the suffix -ly
You may have noticed that there are some adverbs using the form of the adjectives and adding the suffix – ly to form the adverbs as well as in the case of close vs closely, deep vs. deeply, hard vs. hardly and high vs. highly. The difference between the two types of adverbs is that the one sharing the adjective form (or flat adverbs) has more of a physical, concrete or spatial meaning; while the one with the -ly form has more of a metaphorical, philosophically or simply different sense.
Although vs. Despite
"Despite" is a preposition; it's followed by a noun, pronoun, or non-finite clause (such as gerund, participle, and infinitive). It cannot be followed by a finite clause.
It always makes you feel good when you find someone who sees eye to eye with you. When I found Paul Brians' website, I was ecstatic. He said exactly how I felt. He took the words right out of my mouth.
I would like to quote what Paul Brians, English Literature professor of Washington State University said about English usage (http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/ ). " You should use nonstandard English only when you intend to, rather than fall into it because you don’t know any better. The fact is that the world is full of teachers, employers, and other authorities who may penalize you for your nonstandard use of the English language. Feel free to denounce these people if you wish; but if you need their good opinion to get ahead, you'd be wise to learn standard English”.
Commonly Confused Words and their correct usage:
I thought that it would be beneficial to list the words that were commonly misused and their correct usage. I will continue to add the words to the list as they come to my mind.