Some words create trouble everywhere they appear, but this list will help you understand these commonly confused words and how to use them correctly:

  • Affect: Generally a verb meaning "to influence." Effect: Usually a noun meaning "result."

  • Good: Describes a person, place, thing, or idea. Well: Describes an action.

  • Lie: As a verb, "to rest or recline." Lay: As a verb, "to place in a certain position."

  • Its: Shows possession. It's: Contraction of "it is."

  • There: Indicates a position or place. Their: Shows possession. They're: Contraction of "they are."

  • Like: As a preposition, means "similar to." As: Precedes a subject/verb statement.

  • Because: Introduces a reason. Since: Makes a statement about time.

  • If: Indicates a possibility. Whether: Introduces two choices (whether or not).

  • That: Preceding a subject/verb statement, usually introduces essential information and isn't preceded by a comma. Which: Preceding a subject/verb statement, indicates extra information and is preceded by a comma.

  • Between: For two choices. Among: For a group of three or more.

  • Farther: Use for distance. Further: Used for time or intensity.

  • Different from: The correct expression! Different than: Not correct in Standard English.

  • Healthy: Refers to physical or mental well-being. Healthful: Refers to habits or food that contribute to good health.

  • Who's: A contraction meaning "who is." Whose: A possessive pronoun (belonging to whom).