In the name of God
Ago and Before
Ago is used when the point of reference is the present. It means 'before now".
Before is used when the point of reference is not the present. It means "before then", "earlier".
I started working for this firm three years ago.
Last summer, I finally left the firm that I had joined eighteen years before. (Swan, 1980: 32)
Beautiful and Pretty
Beautiful is the opposite of ugly. Anything that you find very pleasing. Attractive or desirable can be called beautiful. Beautiful is used to describe so many things that it may not mean much any more.
Pretty describes those things that are pleasant and nice to look at but are not grand enough or important enough to called beautiful. (Schiller et al, 1969: 59) Beautiful when describing people, beautiful and pretty are generally used of women and children and handsome of men. They all relate to the pleasing appearance of face. Beautiful is a serious and approving description, suggesting elegance and perfection.
Pretty may suggest a delicate feminine appearance and can be used disapprovingly of men. Handsome may be applied to women and suggest dignity and maturity. Good looking and attractive are used of both men and women. (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Begin and Start
Begin and start have almost the same meaning. You can use either word in almost every case, but start is better when you making the first actual move. Begin can mean set about to do something.
Start means change from being still to moving. It also means come into being. When you start walking, you take the first step.(Schiller et al, 1969:347)
In many cases, begin and start can be used with no real difference. In informal style, start is more common than begin. Start is used in same cases where begin is not possible.
1. "To start a journey".
I think we ought to start at six, while the roads are still clear.
"To start working".(for machines)
The car wont start.
2. "To make (machines) start.
How do you start the washing machine? (Swan, 1980,103)
when something is called big, it may be big in size or in importance. A big dog can jump over a fence, but a little dog can't. Big is a word that can be used to describe almost anything that is bigger than something else. (Schiller et al, 1969:44)
Big and Large
Big and large are used when talking about physical size, extent, capacity or number. Big is more informal. Large is not normally used to describe people. Her husband is a very big man. Great is mostly used when talking (usually approvingly) a bout important, quality, ability or extent. Large and great are very similar in meaning when used with amount, quantity and number.(Oxford Dictionary: 1989)
Large is the opposite of little or small. Large means bigger in size or amount than other things like it. Like the word big, the word large is used for many things of different sizes, and you cant really tell what a person means when he calls something large unless he is measuring its size against something else like it. (Schiler et al, 1969: 132)
Big and Large
When we talk about size, we use both big and large. There is a difference of style, big is a more conversational word, large is a little more formal. (Swan, 1980: 109)
Close and Shut
Close is more common than shut to talk about slow gradual movements, like flowers closing at night.
Close is also used more often in a formal o solemn style; shut is more common when we are taking roughly or rudely.
He sank back on the pillow and closed his eyes for the last time. (Swan, 1980: 139)
Close and Shut
Close means the same as shut and is more formal.
Shut/close the door.
When referring to the opening hours of public pleas both shut and close are used. Note close in the following example:
Museums are closed to the public on Monday.
Close can mean "terminate" and "Make smaller". It is also used of road, railway, etc.
They've closed the road because of an accident. (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Every and Each
Every and each are generally used as determiners before singular countable nouns . Each is used when the items in a group ( of two or more ) are considered individually . Every indicates that all the items in a group ( of three or more ) are being regarded as members of that group .It can be modified by some adverbs : Every / Nearly .Each on of and every one of comes before plural nouns or pronouns , but the verb is still singular .
Each of the houses is slightly different .
Each can function as a pronoun on its own .
I asked all the children and each told a different story .
It can also follow a plural subject or an indirect object with a plural verb .
We each have a different point of view. ( Oxford Dictionary , 1989 )
Each is thus more individual and specific but Every is the emphatic word . ( Fitikides ,1963 :119 )
Excuse me and Pardon me
We say Excuse me to someone if we want to get his or her attention or before we do something that might disturb him or her. We say sorry or (formally) I bag your pardon when we need to apologize for something.
In US English pardon me and Excuse me are used for apologize. We say pardon? When we didn't hear what someone said and want them to repeat it. In this case sorry? Is also used in British English and Excuse me? or pardon me? In US English. (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Fast, Quick and Rapid
Fast (adj) moving or doing quickly, rapid; a fast car, horse, runner, ie one that can move at high speed. b) happening quickly.
quick: a) (capable of) moving fast or doing sth in a short time. A quick worker/ reader q quick to respond, react, learn b) done in a shot time.
have a quick meal.
rapid: a) moving r acting with great sped; fast:
Ask several questions in rapid succession.
b) happening in a short time, prompt (Oxford Dictionary, 1989).
Fast (adj) is the opposite of slow. As an adjective, fast means moving, happening, or action with speed or able to move from.
rapid: means fast in movement.
quick: means fast in learning or understanding or doing something. He gave a quick answer to the question.
Fast (adv Fast tells how someone moves or acts or how something happens or is done. Synonyms for the adverb fast have the same meanings as the synonyms for the adjective fast. (Schiller et al, 1969: 155-156)
Finish and End
End as a verb, means stop doing something or come to the part of something. It is the opposite of begin and start. Finish and Complete mean end naturally what you started to do. You finish something when you have done everything that is necessary to end it.
End (N) is the last point to which something can go. It can mean the last part of something. End is the opposite of beginning. The finish is the end of something that has been started or begun. Finish is usually used for the end of something that has been started or begun. Finish is usually used for the end of a race or fight. (Schiller et al, 1969: 138)
Game and play
Game (N) form of play or sport with rules. Play (N) activity done for amusement, esp children, recreation. ( Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Hard and Difficult
Difficult are problems that must be given much thought before can be solved. You might use difficult when you talk of problem or task that makes you use your brain or come to some decision.
Hard is the opposite of easy. It usually describes something that takes strenuous exercise or action or work. You may not have to think to do something hard. You do have to think to do something difficult. If something is hard to do, It is not impossible to do, but it will take a lot of work and strength and may be a lot of time. It’s hard to move a piano, but it’s difficult to play it. (Schiller et al, 1969:118)
House and Home
A house is any building use for dwelling in, and home is the particular house in which one is living. “Home” may also denote one’s own country. When an Englishman say, “I am going home this summer" he means going to England.
( Fitikides, 1963: 503)
Little and Small
Small refers to size. It is the opposite of big or large. Little ( as an adjective) is generally used to express some emotion, as well as the idea of smallness. This can be for example, attention, amusement, disgust, contempt. Little is mostly used in attributive position. (before a noun). (Swan, 1980: 555)
Little is the opposite of big or large. Little means less than other things in value or size.
You can use small and tiny instead of little when you are talking about the size of some object. You might speak of a small child or a tiny child.
You wouldn’t use small or tiny if you were talking about the amount of something. A little candy usually means a few pieces of candy. A small or tiny candy would mean one piece that was very little. ( Schlller et al, 1969: 232)
Meet and Visit
Meet: a) come face to face with (sb) ; come together: b) come together formally for discussion.
Visit: a) go or come to see ( a person, place, etc) either socially on business or for some other purpose. B) to or come to see ( a place, an institution, etc) in order to make an official examination or check. (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Mr and Sir
Mr 1) title that comes before the ( first name and the) surname of a man. Mister:
Mr (John) Brown. Mr and Mrs Brown. 2 (fm1) title for certain men in official position: Mr chairman. ( esp US) Mr president.
Sir: 1a) used as a polite way of addressing a man. Yes, sir. b) used as a rorm at address by school children to a male teacher 2. sir ( used at the beginning of a formal letter): Dear sir 3. sir/ s6(r)/(title used before the first name of knight or baronet. Sir”Edwad”. Sir “John Jackson” (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
See, Look and Watch
See : means take in the sight of something. You see a movie when you are looking at one thing.
Look or look at: means take in or understand something by using the eyes. To look you focus your at: means take in or understand something by using the eyes. To look you focus your eyes on something. She looked at the sky and saw millions of stars.
Watch: means look at or observe for a long time in order to follow the movement of something in order to be ready for something. Watch can mean look for something or someone. Watch also means keep a close eye on something or someone. ( Schiller et al. 1969: 139)
See, Look and Watch
See is used we just want to say that visual impressions come to our eyes. Seeing is not always deliberate. It may be accidental. You can see things without thinking about them and even without realizing that you are seeing them.
Look (at): suggests concern… Intention; if we look, we are pay attention or trying to see what is there.
Watch is like look, but suggests that something is happening or going to happen.
We usually use see to talk about public performance of plays and films. “Did you watch the Avengers last night” ( A TV serials) Have you seen “last Tango in Paris”? ( A film) We saw an extraordinary production of “Hamlet” last summer. ( Swan, 1980: 368)
Say, Call, Talk, Speak and Tell
Say: is used so often that it has become one of the most tired words in our language. When you say something, you are expressing a thought by means of spoken words.
Call: means say loudly. Call means a sound with your voice in order to get someone attention.
Talk: means express a thought or share ideas with some in by using your voice and forming words. Talk usually suggests that you say words to someone who listens to you and then replies. “People talk to each other” But it is possible to talk to someone or to something that does not listen or reply. “little girls often talk to their dolls”
Speak: means say words whether you are talking to someone or not. Some people speak several languages.
Tell: usually means give information to someone by speaking. You could tell your brother a bedtime story. ( Schiller et al, 1969: 202, 203)
Speak and Talk
Speak is more formal, not so conversational. ( just as a speech is more formal than talk)
Talk usually suggests the idea of a conversations exchange. Speak can be used of language by just one person. Speak ( and not usually talk) is used to refer to knowledge of language and usually also to the use of language.
”He speaks three languages fluently”
Talk ( and not usually speak ) is used in expressions like nonsense, Talk rubbish.
(Swan, 1980: 567)
Street and Avenue
Street: ( abbr St) public road in a city, town or village with houses and buildings on one side or both sides.
Avenue 1) wide road or path, often lined with trees, esp one that leads to a large house.
2) ( abbr Ave) wide street lined with trees or tall buildings.
In a town, street is the most general word for a road lined with buildings. In British English street is not used for roads outside towns but street in towns may have the word Road in their names.
An Alley or Lane is a narrow street between buildings.
An Avenue is usually a wide street of houses, often in the suburbs and lined with trees. ( In US cities avenue often run at right angles to street). Roads
(US high ways) connect towns and villages. (Oxford Dictionary, 1989)
Oxford Advanced learner's Dictionary, OxfordUniversity press, 1989 Fitikides, T. J. Common Mistakes in English, Longman. 1963.
Schiller, A. Greet, W. C & Jenkings, W. A in Other Words. Scott, fordsman and Company. 1969. I/II
Swan, M. practical English Usage. OxfordUniversity press. 1980