Common Mistakes

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Macro-/Micro-

The prefix macr- or macro- means “large” or “long.” The prefix micr- or micro- means “small” or “tiny.” Examples: macroeconomics–the study of economic systems. microeconomics–the study of a specific transaction or market. The prefix micr- or micro- in the metric system means “millionth,” so a microliter is a millionth of a liter.

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Persecute/Prosecute/Prosecution

Prosecute means “to begin or carry out a legal claim against someone, usually for a crime” or “to carry or accomplish.” The act of prosecuting is prosecution. The side carrying out the legal claim is also referred to as the prosecution. An attorney representing the accuser (usually the government) is a prosecutor. Persecute means “to

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Set/Sit

Set means to “put in a certain place.” It is normally followed by a direct object, that is, it acts upon something else. It is transitive. Sit means “to be seated.” It is always intransitive. Incorrect: Set down on this chair. Correct: Sit down on this chair. Incorrect: Sit the money on the counter. Correct:

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Magnificent/Munificent

Magnificent means “grand,” literally “made great” or “doing great things.” Its root is magn- which means “great” or “large.” Munificent means “lavish” or “very generous,” literally “making gifts.” The root muni- means “gift.”

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Perspective/Prospective

Perspective means “point of view, especially the ability to see the whole of something.” In art, it specifically means the ability to present three dimensional objects using a two dimensional medium. Perspective is normally a noun. The prefix per- means “completely.” Prospective means “future or potential” and is normally an adjective. The noun form is

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