excuse me, pardon and sorry

1. We usually say excuse me before we interrupt or disturb somebody;
we say sorry after we disturb or trouble somebody.


  • Excuse me, could I get past?… Oh, sorry, did I step on your foot?
  • Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the station?

I beg your pardon is a more formal way of saying sorry.

  • I beg your pardon. I’m afraid I didn’t realize this was your

2. If we do not hear or understand what people say, we usually say Sorry? What? (informal) or (I beg your) pardon?
Americans also say Pardon me?

  • “Mike’s on the phone.” ” Sorry?” I said “Mike’s on the phone”
  • “See you tomorrow”. “What?” I said “See you tomorrow”.
  • “You’re going deaf”.” I beg your pardon?”

afternoon, evening and night

Afternoon changes to evening when it starts getting dark, more or less.
However, it depends on the time of year.
In summer, we stop saying afternoon by six o’clock, even if it is still light.
In winter we go on saying afternoon until at least five o’clock, even if it is dark.

Evening changes to night more or less at bedtime.

Note that Good evening usually means ‘Hello’, and Good night means ‘Goodbye’
— it is never used to greet people.

  • A Good evening Terrible weather, isn’t it?
    B-Yes, dreadful.
  • A:Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Well. I must be going. Good night
    B Good night

List E

earnest or Ernest? EARNEST = serious and sincere
ERNEST = masculine first name
economic or
ECONOMIC = related to the economy of
the country, or industry or business
ECONOMICAL = thrifty, avoiding
-ed or -t? These can be either:
burned burnt
dreamed dreamt
dwelled dwelt
kneeled knelt
leaned leant
leaped leapt
learned learnt
smelled smelt
spelled spelt
spilled spilt
spoiled spoilt
eerie or eyrie? EERIE = strange, weird, disturbing
EYRIE = an eagle’s nest
effective, effectual
or efficient?
EFFECTIVE =abletoproducearesult
an EFFECTIVE speech
EFFECTUAL = likely to be completely
EFFECTUAL legislation
EFFICIENT = working well without
wasting time, money or effort:
an EFFICIENT secretary
an EFFICIENT engine
ei/ie spelling rule Remember the jingle:
i before e
except after c
or when sounded like a
as in ‘neighbour’ and ‘weigh’.
Here are some examples which follow the
rule. There are plenty of others.
ie ei after c
achieve ceiling
believe conceited
chief conceive
field perceive
friend receive
hygiene ei sounding like a
priest eight
relief reign
retrieve reindeer
shield skein
shriek sleigh
thief vein

18 exceptions
caffeine forfeit seize
codeine heifer sheikh
counterfeit height sovereign
either leisure surfeit
Fahrenheit neither weir
foreign protein weird

emigrant or
An EMIGRANT leaves his or her country
to live in another.
An IMMIGRANT moves into a country to
live permanently.
eminent or imminent? EMINENT =famous
IMMINENT = about to happen
enquiry or inquiry? Both spellings are correct and there is no
difference in meaning. British English
favours the first and American English the
Some writers reserve the first for a
general request for information and the
second for a formal investigation, but this
is by no means necessary.
ensure or insure? to ENSURE =tomakesure
to INSURE = to arrange for financial
compensation in the case of loss, injury,
damage or death
especially or specially? The two words are very close in meaning
and sometimes overlap. However, use
these exemplar sentences as a guide to
exclusive uses:
I bought the car ESPECIALLY for you (=
for you alone).
We are awaiting a SPECIALLY
commissioned report (= for a special
exceptionable or
EXCEPTIONABLE = open to objection
exhausting or
EXHAUSTIVE = thorough, fully
explicit or implicit? EXPLICIT = stated clearly and openly
IMPLICIT = implied but not actually

Although / though / even though, In spite of / despite

After although we use a subject + verb:’

  • Although it rained a lot, we enjoyed our holiday.
  • I didn’t get the job although I had the necessary qualifications.

Compare the meaning of although and because:

  • We went out although it was raining.
  • We didn’t go out because it was raining.

After in spite of or despite, we use a noun, a pronoun (this/that/what etc.) or -ing:

  • In spite of the rain, we enjoyed our holiday.
  • I didn’t get the job in spite of having the necessary qualifications.
  • She wasn’t well, but in spite of this she went to work.
  • In spite of what I said yesterday, I still love you.

Despite is the same as in spite of. We say in spite of, but despite [without of):

  • She wasn’t well, but despite this she went to work.(not despite of this)

You can say in spite of the fact (that) … and despite the fact (that) … :

  • I didn’t get the job in spite of the fact (that) I had the necessary qualifications.
    I didn’t get the job despite the fact (that) I had the necessary qualifications.

Compare in spite of and because of:

  • We went out in spite of the rain, (or … despite the rain.)
  • We didn’t go out because of the rain.

Compare although and in spite of / despite:

  • Although the traffic was bad,/In spite of the traffic, we arrived on time,
    In spite of the traffic was bad)
  • I couldn’t sleep, although I was very tired./despite being very tired.
    despite I was tired)

Sometimes we use though instead of although:

  • I didn’t get the job though I had the necessary qualifications.

In spoken English we often use though at the end of a sentence:

  • The house isn’t very nice. I like the garden though. (= but I like the garden)
  • I see them every day. I’ve never spoken to them though. (= but I’ve never spoken to them)

Even though (but not ‘even’ alone) is a stronger form of although:

  • Even though I was really tired, I couldn’t sleep, (not Even I was really tired …)

every and every one

1. We use every before a singular noun

every + singular noun

  • I see her every day (NOT… every days)
  • Every room is being used

2. We use every one of before a pronoun or determiner (for example the, my, these). The pronoun or noun is plural

every one of us/you/them
every one of + determiner + plural noun

  • His books are wonderful. I’ve read every one of them
  • Every one of the plates is broken

3. We can use every one without a noun

  • Every one is broken
  • I’ve read every one

4. Every is used with a plural noun in expressions like every three days, every six weeks

  • I go to Italy every six weeks

5. Everybody, everyone and everything are used with singular verbs, like every.

  • Everybody has gone home (NOT Everybody have…)
  • Everything is ready.