Verbs Often Confused
1. “Been” & “Gone”
He has gone to New York (= He is there now)
He has been to New York (= he was there but not any longer)
2. “Borrow” & “Lend”
2 opposite processes
He borrowed some money from his friend.
He lent some money to his friend.
3. “Lose” & “ Loose”
Lose is a verb meaning the opposite of ‘find’ or win
Loose is an adjective meaning the oppositeof tight
E.g. she is afraid she might lose her ring
Sara’s watch was loose and fell off
4. “Reach” & “Arrive”
Reach is a transitive verb and must have an object:
We reached London in the morning
Arrive is intransitive and cannot have an object
We arrived in the morning
Of course where we arrived can be shown by using ‘at’ or ‘in’
We arrived in London in the inthe morning
The word ‘there’ can be used with ‘reach’ and ‘arrive’:
We reached there in the morning
We arrived there in the morning
5. “Salute” & “ Greet”
Soldiers ‘salute’ their superior raising their hand to their head
‘Greet’ simply means ‘give greeting to’ by saying ‘hello’ or something similar
e.g. The captain saluted the general
John greeted his friend when hesaw him in the street
6. “Steal” & “Rob”
Steel is followed by the thing stolen, rod by a person or place
When we wish to indicate what was stolen as well as the person or place affected we use the construction:
‘rob somebody of something’
e.g. He stole my watch. He robbed the house
He robbed me of my wallet
7. “Wear” ,”Put on” & “Dress”
Wear describes a state, put on anaction. We wear our clothes for some hours; it takes us a short time to put them on(both verbs are transitive and require articles of clothing, etc. as objects)
e.g. I shall wear my new suit to the party
I shall put on a jacket when it’s cooler
Dress usually describes an action but it cannot take an article of clothing as an object : He is dressing at the moment
She isdressing her small sister
(in a special sense it can describe the state : she dresses very well)
8. “Win” & “Beat”
Unlike ‘beat’, ‘win’ can be used intransitively: our team won
Objects of win are words like match, game, war:
Our team won the match
Beat has the meaning of defeat; it must be followed by the noun for who was beaten : Our team beat the champions yesterday
9. “Wound”, “Injure” , “Hurt” & “Damage”
Wound for injuries received from weapons in war and fighting
Injure for injuries received in accidents
Hurt for any injury to the body (usually minor)
Damage only for objects and not for persons
e.g. Over a thousand troops and the passengers were injured.
The goal keeper hurt his leg in the match.
The explosion damaged many shopsand houses.
10. “Sweep” ,”Wipe” & “Brush”
Wipe used with a handkerchief, a cloth, etc.
E.g. Wipe your nose/ the table
Sweep is used with a broom
E.g. Sweep the floor/ the room.
Brush is used with a brush.
e.g. I’m going to brush my teeth. Let me brush your coat
11. “Lie” & “Lay”
‘Lie’ (with the meanings ‘be in a horizontal position’ or ‘ be situated’ isintransitive and therefore has no object; for example,
He lies in bed. The church lies in the valley
‘Lay’ is a transitive verb and therefore has an object
The hen lays a lot of eggs. Lay the table for dinner, please.
‘Lie’ (with the meaning to tell an untruth) is quite regular:
He often lies to his parents. He lied to his headmaster.
N.B: Lie (intransitive)Lie Lay Lying Lain
Lay (transitive) Lay Laid Laying Laid
Lie (tell an untruth) Lie Lied Lying Lied
12. “Accomplish” & “Perform”
‘Perform’ means to do a task, a service.
e.g. Soldiers must perform their duties without asking questions.
‘Accomplish’ means succeed in doing something
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