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Principal Vs. Principle

Principal and principle are often confused as they have the same pronunciation, but have different meanings. In non-legal usage, principle (a doctrine, standard, rule, or law, etc.) is always a noun: A principle of management is to treat your employees…

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Counsel Vs. Council

Do not confuse counsel with council. Counsel means a legal advisor. In the U.K., the term is used for barristers appearing in court; in the U.S., it is used for office practioners such as general counsel, as well as litigators.…

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Advise Vs. Advice

Advise can be a noun meaning to give advice, counsel, warn, recommend, or simply inform. It is also used as a verb meaning to give someone advice. In formal settings, advise means to give someone official information. When trying to…

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Effective Vs. Efficient

Effective and efficient both mean generally “having effect” but specifically, effective meanings having a high degree of effect, e.g. “The court fashioned an effective remedy.”, while efficient means competent to perform a task, e.g. “The court clerk is extremely efficient…

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Consequent And Subsequent

Perhaps because of the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”), consequent is frequently misused for subsequent. Although both a consequent event and a subsequent event occur after a prior event, subsequent merely indicates…

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Disburse Vs. Disperse

Though they are not homophones, when they are heard out of context "disburse" and "disperse" are easily confused. Disburse is used to refer to the distribution of money or other assets, e.g. “The Board of Directors resolved to disburse dividends…

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Qualify

Qualify has many meanings, including to provide with necessary skills, knowledge or credentials. In law qualify means to certify as legally competent or to actions necessary to acquire legal power. However, another important meaning of qualify is to limit or…

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Wholly Owned Subsidiary

Adverbs ending in 'ly' always modify the word immediately following them. As such, they do not require a hyphen to indicate which word they modify. This is true in both British and American English. It is for this reason that…

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Affect Vs. Effect

Article: Affect vs. effectAffect means to have an influence on or cause a change in. For example, “Intense lobbying affected the vote.” Affect and effect are often used interchangeably. Affect is a verb. Effect, meaning result, “When the witness appeared…

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Accede Vs. Exceed

Due to the size of the English language - the number of words exceeds 800,000 - it is quite easy to confuse the meanings of and misuse so many of the words that sound or appear the same. This is…

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