|sceptic or septic?||A SCEPTIC is one who is inclined to
doubt or question accepted truths.
SEPTIC is an adjective meaning ‘infected
by bacteria’ (a SEPTIC wound).
It also describes the drainage system in
country areas which uses bacteria to aid
decomposition (SEPTIC drainage, a
|SEASONABLE = normal for the time of
year (SEASONABLE weather)
SEASONAL = happening at a particular
season (SEASONAL employment)
|shall or will?||The simple future tense uses ‘shall’ with I
and we and ‘will’ with the other
I shall drive
you (singular) will drive
he/she/it will drive
we shall drive
you (plural) will drive
they will drive
By reversing ‘shall’ and ‘will’ you
introduce a note of determination.
you shall drive
he/she/it shall drive
we will drive
you shall drive
they shall drive
This distinction is lost in the contraction:
I’ll drive. However, in speech, the tone of
voice will indicate which is intended.
|shining or shinning?||shine + ing = shining
shin + ing = shinning
|should or would?||‘Should’ and ‘would’ follow the pattern of
‘shall’ and ‘will’.
you (singular) would work
he/she/it would work
we should work
you (plural) would work
they would work
The correct construction often needed in
I SHOULD be grateful if you WOULD
send me . . .
In the sense of ‘ought to’, use ‘should’ in
IknowI SHOULD apologise.
You SHOULD write to your parents.
She SHOULD understand if you explain.
He SHOULD understand.
We SHOULD repair the shed.
You all SHOULD work harder.
They SHOULD resign.
|silicon or silicone?||SILICON = element used in electronics
industry (SILICON chip)
SILICONE = compound containing
silicon and used in lubricants and polishes
and in cosmetic surgery (SILICONE
|singeing or singing?||singe + ing = singeing
sing + ing = singing
|siting or sitting?||site + ing = siting
sit + ing = sitting
|sniping or snipping?||snipe + ing = sniping
snip + ing = snipping
|social or sociable?||SOCIAL = related to society.
a SOCIAL worker,a SOCIAL problem,
SOCIAL policy, SOCIAL housing
SOCIABLE = friendly
avery SOCIABLE person
These two words are quite distinct in
meaning even though they may be used
with the same noun:
a SOCIAL evening = an evening
organised for the purpose of recreation
a SOCIABLE evening = a friendly
evening where everyone mixed well
With any luck the social evening was also
a sociable one!
|some times or
|Use the exemplar sentences as a guide:
There are SOME TIMES when I want to
leave college. (= some occasions)
|STATIONARY = standing still (a
STATIONERY = notepaper and
|stimulant or stimulus?||Both words are related to ‘stimulate’ but
there is a diﬀerence in meaning:
A STIMULANT is a temporary energiser
ike drink or drugs.
A STIMULUS is something that motivates
|strategem or strategy?||STRATEGEM = a plot, scheme,
sometimes a trick, which will outwit an
opponent or overcome a diﬃculty
STRATEGY = the overall plan for
conducting a war or achieving a major
|strategy or tactics?||STRATEGY =theoverallplanorpolicy
for achieving an objective
TACTICS = the procedures necessary to
carry out the strategic policy
|swing + ing = swinging
swinge + ing = swingeing