Ancestor and Descendant

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How to use the words Ancestor and Descendant?

When Albus Dumbledore said that Lord Voldemort was “the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin,” more than one person noted that he had made a serious verbal bumble; and in later printings of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets author J. K. Rowling corrected that to “last remaining descendant.”

People surprisingly often confuse these two terms with each other.

Your great-grandmother is your ancestor.

You are her descendant.

Common Errors Index

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