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madam or madame?Use MADAM:
” as a polite term of respect:
Can I help you, madam?
” in letter writing:
Dear Madam (note capital letter)
” as a formal title of respect:
Thank you, Madam Speaker (note
capital letter)
Use MADAME as the French equivalent:
” We are going to Madame Tussaud’s.
” The famous French physicist, Madame
Curie, was born in Poland.
may or might?(i) Use may/might in a present context
and might in a past context:
If I receive a written invitation, I
MAY/MIGHT accept. (still possible)
If I had received a written invitation,
I MIGHT HAVE accepted. (possibility
over now)
If I don’t hurry, I MAY/MIGHT miss
the bus. (possibility exists)
If I hadn’t hurried, I MIGHT HAVE
missed the bus. (risk now over)
(ii) Convert ‘may’ to ‘might’ when
changing direct speech to indirect or
reported speech:
‘MAY I come in?’ she asked.
She asked if she MIGHT come in.
‘You MAY be lucky,’ she said.
She said that I MIGHT be lucky.
(iii) There is a slight difference between
the meaning of ‘may’ and ‘might’ in
the present tense when they are used
in the sense of ‘asking permission’:
MAY I suggest that we adjourn the
meeting? (agreement assured)
MIGHT I suggest that we adjourn the
meeting? (suggestion more tentative)
militate or mitigate?To MILITATE (against) comes from the
Latin verb meaning ‘to serve as a soldier’
and it has the combative sense of having a
powerful influence on something.
Despite his excellent qualifications, his
youthful criminal record MILITATED
against his appointment as school bursar.
To MITIGATE comes from the Latin
adjective meaning ‘mild’ and it means to
moderate, to make less severe.
Don’t condemn the young man too
harshly. There are MITIGATING
circumstances.
momentary or
momentous?
MOMENTARY =lastingforonlya
very short time
MOMENTOUS = of great significance
moping or mopping?mope + ing = moping
mop + ing = mopping
moral or morale?Use these exemplar sentences as a guide:
Denise is guided by strong MORAL
principles.
My MORALE suffered badly when I failed
my exams and I lost all faith in myself for
years.
mucous or mucus?MUCOUS is an adjective, as in MUCOUS
membrane.
The name of the thick secretion of the
mucous membrane is called MUCUS.

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