Tricky Rules

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Bring/Take

Bring means “to carry to a nearer place from a more distant one.” Take means the opposite: “To carry to a more distant place from a nearer one.” Examples: Bring that file over here. Take this package to the post office. The past and the past participle of bring is brought. Brang and brung are

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Disinterested/Uninterested

Disinterested means “impartial” or “not taking sides.” (In other words, not having a personal interest at stake.) Uninterested means “not interested.” (In other words, not showing any interest.) Correct: A good referee should be disinterested. (He does not take sides.) Incorrect: He was disinterested in Jill’s hobby. Correct: He was uninterested in Jill’s hobby. (He

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British Grammar vs. American Grammar

Some of our words have different meanings, some are spelled differently, but grammar is the “glue” that holds a language together. Grammar, therefore, is virtually the same wherever English is spoken. The only significant difference I can think of is that the British sometimes treat collective nouns as plural where the Americans treat them as

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Done as Verb

Done should not be used alone as the verb of a sentence. It is a past participle. It must always follow an auxiliary verb like has, have, am, is, are, was, were, or one of their contractions. Incorrect: I done what I was supposed to do. Correct: I have done what I was supposed to

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Burst/Bust/Busted

Bust, meaning “burst or explode,” and busted are nonstandard. Use burst instead. Burst is the same in the present, past, and past participle. Examples: I am so full that my stomach is about to burst. (present) We burst a dozen water balloons at the party yesterday. (past) They said he had a burst appendix. (past

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