Business English Helpline Mobile App
android version / iOS version

Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Secret Key Remember me
Post your questions about any aspect of business writing skills. Do not post your grammar questions here though!

TOPIC: Confusing Pairs of Words

Confusing Pairs of Words #629

  • Dr_English
  • Dr_English's Avatar
  • Offline
  • "Resident Business English Expert"

Here are three pairs of common words which often cause confusion among non-native English speakers. Review the usage of each word and see how they are used in context. Then try the exercise to test whether you're still confused!

When or If?

When is used when something is certain to happen.
If is used when it is uncertain whether something will happen.

I'll give it to him when I see him.
(I am definitely going to see him)

I'll give it to him if I see him.
(It is uncertain whether I will see him or not)

So or Such?

So is used with adjectives or adverbs.
Such is used with nouns or adjectives and nouns.

The service was so bad that we complained.

We were served so badly that we complained.

Such service is bound to lead to complaints.

We received such bad service that we complained.

Each or Every?

Each is used when we talk about people or things separately. Each is used with countable nouns in the singular. Each can also be used without a noun.

Every is used when we talk about people or things as a group. Every is also used with countable nouns in the singular.

Each department has its own secretary.

There are four different designs; each is different / each one is different / each of them is different.

Every staff member receives a copy of The Language Key magazine.

(Meaning: all the members receive
Dr English
Workplace English Training E-Platform
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Time to create page: 0.113 seconds