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Quiz: Do you know the real meaning of these misused words and phrases?

English is a tricky language to master. Can you uncover the real meaning of these commonly misused words? Source: Shutterstock

Writing is an integral part of college and university life, but many students (including those who list English as their first language) commonly misuse certain words without even realising.

After all, English is a tricky language to master – especially when so many words are spelt and pronounced similarly. For example, do your pore or pour over your textbooks? (Answer: pore.)

So, whether you’re a student who has an excellent or an average grasp of the English language, it’s time to put knowledge to the test…without turning to Google for help!

Try our quiz to see how well you fare (*not fair)!

Let’s go:

Does caffeine affect or effect your ability to sleep?

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Correct! Wrong!

Is the following sentence correct: Linda enjoys buying stationary for her six-year-old sister.

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Correct! Wrong!

Is the following sentence correct: George and Harry exchanged discrete glances as their parents fought during dinner.

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Correct! Wrong!

What does ‘utilise’ mean?

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Correct! Wrong!

Is the phrase ‘in regards to’ correct?

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Correct! Wrong!

Is the following sentence correct: Brandon’s office is 12 story's high.

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Correct! Wrong!

Quiz: Commonly misused words and phrases students use
Hit the books

Oops - looks like you need to brush up on your English! But don’t worry, practice makes perfect. Here are the answers to all the questions: Typically used as a verb, ‘affect’ means producing a change or influencing something while ‘effect’ is usually a noun and refers to the result of a particular influence. 2) ‘Stationary’ is wrong as it means not moving or not changing in quantity or condition whereas ‘stationery’ refers to items needed for writing. 3) ‘Discrete’ means separate and distinct, whereas ‘discreet’ means careful not to attract attention. 4) To ‘use’ something means to employ it for a given purpose. 5) ‘In regard to’ is correct. However, choose the plural word when sending someone greetings, such as “Send my regards to Dad.” 6) ‘Storey’ is a level of a building whereas ‘story’ means a tale or account.
You can do better - try again!

That’s a great start! Try again? In case you're wondering, here are the answers to all the questions: 1) Typically used as a verb, ‘affect’ means producing a change or influencing something while ‘effect’ is usually a noun and refers to the result of a particular influence. 2) ‘Stationary’ is wrong as it means not moving or not changing in quantity or condition whereas ‘stationery’ refers to items needed for writing. 3) ‘Discrete’ means separate and distinct, whereas ‘discreet’ means careful not to attract attention. 4) To ‘use’ something means to employ it for a given purpose. 5) ‘In regard to’ is correct. However, choose the plural word when sending someone greetings, such as “Send my regards to Dad.” 6) ‘Storey’ is a level of a building whereas ‘story’ means a tale or account.
Congratulations!

You’ve aced this quiz - well done! That was easy peasy, wasn’t it? Not that you need it, but we're sharing the answers with you anyway: 1) Typically used as a verb, ‘affect’ means producing a change or influencing something while ‘effect’ is usually a noun and refers to the result of a particular influence. 2) ‘Stationary’ is wrong as it means not moving or not changing in quantity or condition whereas ‘stationery’ refers to items needed for writing. 3) ‘Discrete’ means separate and distinct, whereas ‘discreet’ means careful not to attract attention. 4) To ‘use’ something means to employ it for a given purpose. 5) ‘In regard to’ is correct. However, choose the plural word when sending someone greetings, such as “Send my regards to Dad.” 6) ‘Storey’ is a level of a building whereas ‘story’ means a tale or account.

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