Now that I have come out of the closet, so to speak, admitted my secret desire to be an English teacher; I’m nervous to write, just in case I make a mistake. Silly me. I know that my intentions are honourable. I just want to point out some of the common spots many of us, (including me) make silly errors that can cast us in a less than favourable light, especially for that critical first impression.
So, here goes. There are a couple numbers that tend to get abused. The worst is ‘two’. Of course, that is the written form of the number ‘2’. The other two spellings that sound the same are ‘to’ and ‘too’. In simple terms, ‘too’ is used in places where ‘also’ or ‘as well’ would make sense – ‘I want to go too.’ The other common use is to indicate an excess – ‘too small’ or ‘too cute’. ‘To’ gets used in front of action words – ‘I want to go, or to read, or to hit someone, etc.’ The other place you will see ‘to’ is in front of a destination of some sort. ‘I am going to the cabin, or to Cuba, or to bed, etc.’ I’m sure there are lots of exceptions and additions to what I’ve mentioned, but I think I’ve covered the majority of situations.
Quickly, let’s also talk about ‘four/for/fore’. Okay, the obvious – ‘four’ is the written form of ‘4’. Not so obvious, ‘forty’ is how ‘40’ is spelled. ‘Fore’ doesn’t get used much these days, but means ‘in the front’ or it could also be a warning from a golfer that his/her shot may be heading to where people might be impacted. The third and most common spelling is ‘for’. Most of the time, this is the spelling you will use. Technically, it is a preposition. Some of the more common uses are 1) to indicate belonging – ’The uniforms are for the soccer team’; 2) to indicate the object or purpose of something – ’I read for enjoyment’ and 3) to indicate something or someone that fills a need – ’I need the books for next semester.’ In all cases, ‘for’ links two fragments of a sentence. The easiest way to remember is to use ‘for’ unless either of the other specific cases apply.
I have only covered a few examples, the ‘tip of the iceberg’ really. I hope I have covered some of the most common usages. The other related trouble spot is ‘fourth’ versus ‘forth’. Again, very quickly, ’fourth’ is the spelled form of ‘4th’; ‘forth’ is almost synonymous with ‘forward.’
Well, that’s it for this edition of ‘English with Debbie’. I hope something in my tirade is a little bit helpful. I would be grateful for any feedback or requests.
Love and Light, Namaste…Debbie