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Pitfalls: Air Conditioner

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Tweet In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s about time for the weather to become cooler. That’s why I thought about this vocabulary pitfall today… In standard American English, the word “air conditioner” only means “a machine that makes the air cooler […] [...]

Pitfalls: MV, PV, CM, CF

Tweet The terms “MV,” “PV,” “CM,” and “CF” are popular in countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. However, most people in North America and other English-speaking countries don’t know what MV, PV, CM, or CF mean. You need to be careful with letter-based words (usually called “acronyms”). Even though they’re based on real […] [...]

Pitfalls: Funny

Tweet Funny looks like it should mean the same thing as “fun.” But it doesn’t. “Fun” is an adjective for something you enjoy, something you like doing, something that makes you happy. Playing a game is fun. Going sightseeing is fun. It’s fun to play with a kitten. Skiing looks like fun. I had a […] [...]

Pitfalls: Most vs. Almost vs. Almost All

Tweet Watch out for these two phrases. Many students confuse them, but their meanings are actually very different. When you use “almost all (of)”/”most (of)” with a noun phrase, and “almost” with a verb phrase, the meanings can be opposite! “Almost all (of)” means 80-99% (not all, but close to all). “Most (of)” means more […] [...]

Pitfalls: “Married TO,” Not “Married WITH”

Tweet She is married to him. He was the first in his family to get married to someone from another country. Two of my friends would like to be married to each other, but it’s still not legal in this state, because they are both men. In these sentences and others, referring to the state […] [...]

Introducing Pitfalls

Tweet A “pitfall” is something that’s dangerous, but hidden or hard to see. The original word referred to a kind of trap made by digging a hole in the ground and lightly covering it. I’m going to use this word for a new series of posts about vocabulary and grammar that are often misused. I […] [...]