Tricky Rules

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At after Where

Do not use at after where. Drop the at. Incorrect: That is where I am at right now. Correct: That is where I am right now.

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Compose/Comprise

Comprise means “is made up of” or “consists of.” The whole comprises the parts. Compose means “make up” or “make.” The parts compose the whole. Incorrect: The rock is comprised of three minerals. Correct: The rock is composed of three minerals. Correct: The rock comprises three minerals. Correct: Three minerals compose the rock. If you

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Emigrate/Immigrate

The prefix e- (or ex-) usually means “out of” or “from.” The prefix im- (or in-) often means “in” or “into.” Therefore, emigrate means “to move out of” and immigrate means “to move into.” Correct: They emigrated from Rwanda and immigrated to Gabon. Note: The prefix e- comes from the Latin word e, such as

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A Ways

Ways is plural. The article a is singular. They do not belong together. Incorrect: The truck stop is a little ways down the road. Correct: The truck stop is a little way down the road.

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Continual/Continuous

Continual means “repeated again and again.” Continuous means “uninterrupted.” Examples: I was continually interrupted by the telephone. It rained continuously for forty-eight hours.

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