Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: ELL Q&A
May
15

Grammar and Usage: “amount” vs. “number”

Difference Paragraphs: amount vs. number “Number” refers to a quantity of individually countable things, such as “cats,” “books,” “ideas,” and “trees.”  It answers the question of “How many?” The word “amount” generally refers to a quantity of some type of thing considered “uncountable,”…

May
10

Grammar and Usage: “adverse” vs. “averse”

The adjectives “adverse and “averse” are often confused.  “Adverse” often describes a thing contrary or opposed to what someone wants or plans (“adverse weather,” “adverse circumstances,”  “adverse consequences,” “adverse ruling”). “Adverse” also means “producing harmful effects,” as in “an adverse reaction to a…

Apr
17

Grammar and Usage: “accomplish” vs. “achieve”

“Accomplish” and “achieve” overlap in meaning.  They both convey the idea of successfully completing something. There is often a certain amount of pride or satisfaction attached to both. The words “aim,” “goal,” “purpose,” and “objective” can be used as objects with both of…

Feb
20

Grammar and Usage: “comprise” vs. “compose”

The verb “comprise” means “to be made up of, consist of, or include.”  We can say that the nation of Canada comprises ten provinces and three territories. Or we can say that the cinema complex comprises four movie theaters.   edit

Feb
6

Grammar and Usage: “attain” vs. “obtain”

“Obtain” and “attain” have similar pronunciations and meanings, but they do not generally overlap in usage. “Attain” has more the idea of achieving a goal or reaching a level or degree. “Obtain” has more the idea of actually getting something, actually taking possession…