Author Archive | Devon Balwit

PELA Tricky English Words Blog

Tricky Words: Deny, Reject, Refuse, Doubt, and Suspect

Verbs like deny, refuse, and reject have overlapping meanings.  Sometimes, they can even be used interchangeably.  The same is true for the pair doubt and suspect.  However, with both sets of words, the context can often help clarify the subtle differences between them.  Today in class, to help students understand them more easily, I wrote the following […]

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Words that Limit

Words that Limit

In a previous blog, we studied words that intensify.  For example, we learned that we can say it’s extremely sunny today.  It’s really hot out.  In fact, it’s so hot that I feel like a melting popsicle.  These words emphasize that there is a lot of something—in this case “heat.” Conversely, we can use other […]

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so vs. so that

What is the difference between “so” and “so that”?

What is the difference between “so” and “so that”? Both of these words are adverbs.  They are used with a subject and a verb to make a clause.  “So that” tells us for what purpose something is done.  What was the intention or plan?  In contrast, “so” tells us the effect.  It tells us what […]

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Copy of Being & Having (Blog Post Image)

What is the Difference between Useful and Convenient?

When students in the U.S. apply to college, they often have an interviewer.  The interviewer may ask them many “normal” questions, such as “Why do you want to study at our university?” or “What are your future goals?”  The interviewer may also ask a much stranger question, such as “How many ways can you think […]

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More On Polite English

More on Using Polite English

Some languages, like Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and German, have polite forms built into them.  Speakers of these languages can choose a special form of “you” for older or important people and a different form of “you” for younger people.  They use a special form of the verb that is more polite. How do Americans speak […]

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