7/12/15 update: 6 new lectures were added, all closed captioned. This brings the course from "over 70 tricky words" to OVER 140 TRICKY WORDS!
Note: All lectures are closed-captioned to help you understand the content. This course mainly covers US-English word use.
"...I like the visual illustrations to help remember as I am a dominant visual learner..." -- Erika
"...This course was well thought out..." -- Gary
"...this is the most fastest and easiest method to memorise vocabular[y]..." - Shane
"....such a great way to remember!" - Angelika
Build confidence in your English writing skills.
You can perfect your use of confusing English words, such as the sound-alikes "write" and "right" which mean something very different. This course will help you remember which word is the correct word, and you will learn and practice 144 commonly mistaken words.
You need to write these words when:
Improve your English writing with verbal, visual and story-like tips on knowing the correct word to use. You can tell the differences between common problem words in English.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the course. Search on my name and my instructor page will come up in the results.
Enroll today and improve your writing right away!
A little about me, and my background. I am not an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. I am a native English speaker, writer, poet and professional brainstormer. I make mistakes. Please catch me!
Photo of Criss by Nuby DeLeon of ND Pro Media.
A document that you can print if you would like to track all the 140+ words we are covering in this course. Please feel free to make suggestions of other words to be added in the future, and I will add them to the list.
April 12, 2016: Version update: 5.1 includes a preliminary list of the 70+ words I plan to add to the course in the next 1-2 months.
Do you need this class?
Even in lecture descriptions in this course, there are many common words that have sound-alikes in English. And there are two ways to get them right: you can memorize these words, which can take a long time, or you can prepare a mental trick, a mnemonic, that you can use to remember the right word. I used bold to highlight words in the lecture descriptions which apply to the current lecture, and italics for the words that you will find in another lecture. Now you can see some of the words in sentences and paragraphs as you go along.
Crown photo by Jason Train (Flickr, CC-By).
It's almost impossible to write a sentence in English without using some of these words. For example, one (person) might try to write two sentences to describe a lecture and find that you wrote "to" three or four times.
Crown photo by Jason Train (Flickr, CC-BY). Goat/Horse/Turkey photo by galendara (Flickr, CC-BY).
Hi! In this lesson, we're going to learn about the words that allow us to meet people, make dear friends, and offer to buy them breakfast in the morning. It's almost impossible to get by without getting these words right.
It's time for those dreaded apostrophes! How will you improve your written English if they're always putting apostrophes in the middle of their words? In this lesson, you're going to learn when to use the apostrophes, when not to, and the meanings of words that sound exactly like those tricky possessive pronouns and their sound-alike contractions.
Watch photo by Joe Haupt (Flickr, CC-BY).
Here's (here is) a quiz to help you with your understanding of possessive pronouns. Remember that possessive pronouns never have an apostrophe, and watch out for real nouns.
Now we're going to cover some words which have loose similarities, but are commonly confused anyway. I thought I would add them to the course because it's better to learn these words than to make mistakes when you're writing.
This wraps up our first section of the course. In this lecture, we do a very quick review of vocabulary with some hints for you to remember what you've learned.
This is a test of all the words and bonus words in this section.
Next we go on to tricky verbs. After this section you'll be more certain that you're choosing the right action verb in your sentences.
In this lesson we will go over the most confusing verbs and their sound-alikes. It may be hard to accept, but it would be great to write our English words right.
Fountain pen photo from Morguefile.
You're doing great here! You are learning how to take the words we hear and break them down in understandable ways. After this lesson you can take a break, or you can go on to our next quiz.
Fresh grated cheese photo by Jay Davis (Flickr, CC-BY-ND). Grate discrepancy by JD Hancock (Flickr, CC-BY).
I hope you're not getting bored with our lessons yet, because that could affect whether you have allowed these tips and tricks to help you write more effectively.
You've now finished the 2nd set of words covered in the course. Please make sure you take the quizzes and review what you've gotten wrong; it will help you a great deal to practice what you're learning.
Car visor photo by Gumby Nut (Flickr, CC-By).
I hate to boast, but being able to publish 6 more lectures today really gives my spirits a boost! I could almost write a rap song about it. If I had known about Udemy sooner, I could have added many more courses by now.
I assure you that you will have a great time with these new words. Being aware of good vocabulary will ensure that you are employable, no matter where you end up.
In this section we will cover 3 types of nouns:
When you're done, you will find the differences between these words much less confusing and be able to pick the right words for your sentences.
In principle, which words you choose when you write can affect how people view you. This is great when writing to affect a council's decision, to meet with a principal about your grades, or if you need to compliment a witch to avoid being turned into a deer. Bear with my counsel, and your writing will have a greater effect.
I'll often write a letter to representatives in our state council, and it gets mailed to the capital city and then is delivered to the state capitol building. I suppose they often sleep at an inn while the council is in session, unless they're getting room and board somewhere.
Like dough to a counter-top, you've stuck with me this far! Let's see if you can bear to accept more of my attempts to complement each lesson by writing barely acceptable sentences. If you're sitting there doe-eyed with fright at my writing, let me know in the discussions and accept my apology, too.
In this section we cover over 10 tricky nouns and their sound-alikes. Of course, to make sure you get them right practice with the quiz coming up next!
Dear Tricky Words Student,
I'd like to ask you to take your time learning how to use each pair of words. Write them down, use them in sentences, draw rings around them to help you remember. It will help you the next time you pick up a pen or have an axe to grind.
Rather than utter any foul language, you could alter your communication style, or just stay quiet.
This lecture adds 16 tricky words to our list. These are comparison words and their tricky companions and sound-alikes.
Do you want some free advice? When working on your résumé, make sure you massage the wording to appeal to the reader and accurately reflect your programming experience. Before writing your cover letter, carefully appraise the salary for the position you're asking for.
The receptionist said, "One of the perquisites of already having an appointment with the doctor is that I can skip you ahead in the queue. Occasionally someone will question why you went in before them. That's my cue to put on my best smile and quiet their doubts. Patience is a prerequisite for working with patients."
Joe used dictation software to write this letter to his friend, Dave. Apparently the software made many mistakes with homophones. See if you can find all the errors. The corrected letter and mistakes are in the resources section.
Writer Criss Ittermann is a revolutionary brainstormer and some people call her a "Renaissance Woman." In addition to an uncanny ability to come up with novel ideas, Criss has skills from computer repair and programming through graphic design, holistic healing, American Sign Language, writing and sculpting, and a wide range of experience in the small business world.
With keen perception and thorough processing, Criss can quickly take in and evaluate disparate information and come to unconventional conclusions. Whether she asks uncanny questions that provoke new ways of thinking, or she produces an unorthodox solution from her mental machinery, you can be certain that the ideas Criss produces will create subtle but important change.
When you want someone with an adventurous attitude to encourage you to solve your problem puzzles, ground-breaking ideas to bring a big difference to make you stand out in a crowd, or fresh solutions to age-old headaches, talk to Criss.