This or That?

This category contains 26 posts

‘fictional’ or ‘fictitious’?

Fictional means occurring in fiction, i.e in a piece of literature, whereas fictitious means invented, not genuine. So, Harry Potter is a fictional name when it refers to the character in the Harry Potter series but fictitious when someone uses it as a false or assumed name instead of their own.

‘disinterested’ or ‘uninterested’?

Disinterested and uninterested are NOT the same. Disinterested means impartial or neutral or not taking sides whereas uninterested means bored or lacking interest. A jury must be disinterested; an umpire needs to be disinterested. But they definitely can not be uninterested if they wish to do their job properly.

‘amiable’ or ‘amicable’?

Amiable means agreeable or friendly. Example: They were engaged in an amiable conversation. Amicable means marked by goodwill or peaceable. Example: We were relieved when they reached an amicable agreement.

‘famous’ or ‘notorious’?

The adjective famous means honored for achievement. To describe those who do evil attention-getting things, we have the words infamous or notorious. The word infamous expresses the idea that the person or incident described is one of a vicious, contemptible, or criminal nature. Notorious means widely and unfavorably known. So think twice before you say … Continue reading

‘probable’ or ‘possible’?

Possible means having the potential. Probable means likely. Probable refers to what is likely to be done, to occur, or to be true; possible refers to what can be done, to occur, or to be true. If you say something is probable, you are expressing more confidence about it than if you say that it is possible. Compare: Where is Danny? He’s probably … Continue reading

‘continuous’ or ‘continual’?

Many learners use continuous and continual interchangeably. But actually they are different in meaning. Continuous indicates duration without interruption. Example: Continuous monitoring of the patient’s condition proved crucial in his treatment. Continual indicates duration that continues over a long period of time, but with intervals of interruption. Example:  The continual street repairs disrupted traffic for nearly two … Continue reading

‘last’ or ‘latest’?

We use latest to talk about something new, and last to mean the one before. Example: Her latest book deals with corruption. Reviewers say its much better than her last one.

‘economic’ or ‘economical’?

The dictionary defines the word economic as ‘relating to economics’ <economic theories> and ‘of, relating to, or based on the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services’ <economic growth>. The word economical means ‘marked by careful, efficient, prudent use of resources,’ as in, an economical car. So, ‘we are looking for a more economic way … Continue reading

‘before’ and ‘ago’

Before means at some unknown time before now. It does not indicate when. We generally use the present perfect tense with before. Example: I have never seen him before. Ago means at a certain time before now. Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened. It tells us when and gives us a … Continue reading

‘replacement of’ or ‘replacement for’

Should you say ‘replacement of’ or ‘replacement for’? There are two commonly used meanings of the word ‘replacement’: 1. a person or a thing that replaces another; a substitute. 2. The action or an act of replacing something. When used in the first sense, use ‘for’. Example: We need a replacement for Mr Seth, who … Continue reading

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