EnglishNotes has written 146 posts for English Notes

‘Childless’ or ‘Childfree’?

Childless is the condition of ‘not having children.’ People may be childless for various reasons: infertility, medical complications, circumstances involving the partner being the most common ones. The word childfree is a more recent term, referring to people who choose not to have children. They may decide to commit themselves to their career or other … Continue reading

How do you emphasize a contrast?

However, nevertheless, nonetheless emphasize the fact that the second point contrasts with the first. Example: The ruling party suffered a massive defeat in the recent elections. However, they were able to retain a few seats in the eastern region of the state, traditionally a stronghold for them. Mind you and still introduce the contrasting point … Continue reading

Did you open up ‘a can of worms’?

Stumbling block: (a problem that bars you from achieving something or progressing): A stumbling block in my road to success now is lack of trained personnel in my team. Dire straits: (in a difficult situation): With all our money and even our mobile phones robbed by the rogues, we had no way of finding help … Continue reading

Commas with dependent clauses

When starting a sentence with a dependent clause, use a comma after it. Example: If you can’t find what you are looking for, let me know. But a comma is often unnecessary when the sentence starts with an independent clause followed by a dependent clause. Example: Let me know if you can’t find what you … Continue reading

‘censor’ or ‘censure’?

›Censor = ban Censure = reprimand

‘amused’ or ‘bemused’?

Amused = to be entertained Bemused = to be confused  

‘rebut’ or ‘refute’?

›Rebut = to argue in response to another argument Her lawyer tried to rebut the testimony that the witness gave. Refute = to deny an argument/claim She refuted the allegations against her.

‘Say’ or ‘tell’?

We use tell with an object (i.e., who is to be told):    Can you tell me where he has gone? Also, we use tell to mean to instruct or to inform: I told her to wait at home until I get there. (instructing) He told us about his experiences of teaching English in a … Continue reading

‘well known’ or ‘well-known’? Hyphenate correctly.

Compound adjectives beginning with well are generally written with no hyphen when used alone after a verb, but with hyphen when they come before a noun. She is well dressed. BUT She is a well-dressed woman. He is not that well known. BUT He is a well-known actor.

Describing the sickeningly sweet

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