Skip to content


June 7, 2022

            We’re back with another set of similar sounding words with entirely different meanings.

Our illustrious former Henderson Writer’s Group el-presidente, Linda Webber, used to present grammar lessons each week on the back of our meeting agendas. The gist of them were the improper use of words.

As a reminder, I’ll add the standard intro below before I get into the word list.


            I once wrote a screenplay with my bud, Doug Lubahn (RIP), a famous musician. During our correspondence, I told him I was waiting with “baited” breath instead of “bated” breath. He never let me live that one down.

            The proper use of words is something a lot of writers don’t always get, especially new ones. So, for your reading pleasure, below is a list of words and how to use them properly.

            The list is not near complete, so that’s why this is called Grammar Lesson Three.

            Once again, my many thanks to Linda Webber, who went through the trouble to compile these words all in one place for me to steal and present to you here at Fred Central.

These are common words that are often used out of context. They can be a quandary for a writer, and a quick trip to a dictionary, or online.


To                   Indicates motion

He went to the store.

Too                 Also, or excessively

She had too much to drink.

Two                The number two

There are two examples of this problem to deal with.

Then               A point in time

If you do it then, it will be better.

Than               A method of comparison

If you do it this way rather than that way, it’ll work better.

There              A place

Put it there.

They’re           They are

They’re the best at what they do.

Their               It belongs to them

It’s their problem, not ours.

Your               It belongs to you

It’s your problem, not mine.

You’re                        You are

You’re the greatest.

Were               Past tense of are

We were happy before that happened.

We’re              We are

In some ways, we’re never going to achieve that.

Where             A place

Where is it?

Bated              In great suspense

We’ve been waiting with bated breath.

Baited             With bait attached or inserted

Mary baited the hook and tossed out her line.

Bazaar            A Middle Eastern market

We explored the Bazaar on our last trip to Istanbul.

Bizarre           Strange

That was a bizarre song structure.

Berth              A bunk in a ship or train

Joe slipped into his berth and closed his eyes to ride out the rough seas.

Birth               The emergence of a baby from the womb

Jane gave birth to a baby girl.

Born               Having started life

I was born under a bad sign.

Borne              Carried

It was hard to imagine having borne such a heavy burden.

Bough             A branch of a tree

Jess ran for the heavy bough to gain shelter from the rain.

Bow                To bend the head down, or the front of a ship

Skip moved along the deck to the bow to get a better view of the ship ahead of them.


            Once again, thanks to Linda Webber for her hard work putting these original words together!

            Happy writing!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dee Caples permalink
    June 10, 2022 6:14 pm

    I catch myself letting my east Texas improper English come to the fore. Prepositions are NOT interchangeable and can really mark a writer as an ignorant hick.

  2. Denise Fletcher Jackson permalink
    June 20, 2022 5:01 pm

    You know this is a great reference to have handy 😉. I’m a southern Bell so my grammar sometimes does not represent the best of the English language but now that I have a reference guide I’ll make sure to utilize it to my advantage. Thank you so much for putting this list together for Us 🙏🏾

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: