Use of Words




In this section, miscellaneous types of Use of Words are discussed in detail.

1. Use of At least when referring to a number:

The phrase
at least 50 percent is preferable to the phrase 50 per cent or more than 50 per cent.

Similarly, the phrases ‘maximum of 50 percent’ and ‘at the most 50 per cent’ are preferred to the phrase ’50 per cent or less than 50 per cent’.

Example-1:

• Several studies have found that the corollary patients who exercise most actively have half or less than half the chance of dying of a heart attack as those who are sedentary.

This sentence is wrong one.

The correct sentence is:

• Several studies have found that the corollary patients who exercise most actively are at least fifty percent less likely than those who are sedentary to die of a heart attack.

2. The use of the article THE in relation to a specific number.

Normally, we do not add the definite article THE to a number.

Examples:

• There are 78 students in our class.
• I secured 90marks out of 100 in the English test.

But, the use of the article is required when a section of a known number of persons or things is referred to.

Example-1:

• In the last test, 70 out of the 100 students in my class received more than 90%.
• Only 6 out of the 37 colleges in this city are coeducational.

You can see how the Use-of-Words is beautiful here.



3. Became twice or doubled:

The single word doubled is preferable to the two-word term became twice:

Examples:

• The number of undergraduate degrees in the engineering awarded by colleges and Universities in USA increased more than twice from 1990 to 1998.

The correct sentence is:

• The number of undergraduate degrees in the engineering awarded by colleges and Universities in USA more than doubled from 1990 to 1998.

You can see how the Use-of-Words is beautiful here.

4. Between should always be complemented by and:

When an event happens between two specific times, say 2 o’clock and 4o’clock, we should use either the phrase between 2 o’clock and 4o’clock or the phrase from 2o’clock to 4o’clock.

Similarly the phrases BETWEEN….WITH, BETWEEN…AS and BETWEEN…AT are wrong ones.

This rules allies not only to sentences relating to time but whenever BETWEEBN is used.

Examples:

• My house lies halfway between the park and the post office.
• Between Ram and Clinton, the former is older.

You can see how the Use-of-Words is beautiful here.

5. The word DISTINGUISH must always be complemented by FROM:

Examples:

• Clinton is an avid stamp collector, and is an expert in distinguishing genuine stamps from fake ones.
• Gemologists are taught to distinguish real pearls from cultured ones.

You can see how the Use-of-Words is beautiful here.

6. The use of IF and WHETHER.

The word IF should be used only as a conditional conjunction and not as a conjunction indicating a choice.

Examples:

• I shall go the movie only if you also come with me.
• If it does not rain, we shall go on a picnic next Sunday.

Where a choice of action is indicated, the proper word to be used is WHETHER, not IF.

Examples:

• We have been debating whether we should go to New York or to Chicago.
• The election commission has not yet decided on whether to hold the poll in June or in July.

7. The use of the phrase W,X,Y and Z:

When three or nouns or verbs are used in a sentence in serial, those except the last one must be separated by a comma, and the conjunction ‘and’ must be added before the last.

Example:

• I was accompanied to College by Clinton, George, Mary and Charles.

The following versions are wrong ones:

• I was accompanied to College by Clinton, George, Mary, Charles.
• I was accompanied to College by Clinton and George, Mary, Charles.
• I was accompanied to College by Clinton and George, Mary and Charles.

You can see how the Use-of-Words is beautiful here.



Go to the Advanced English Index to continue



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