During my trip to Canada I stayed in a coastal city – Vancouver – where I heard these words a lot. Being born and raised in a Brazilian inland city – Blumenau – the definition of those words were overlapping inside my head; I couldn’t understand their differences and neither could some native Canadians. When I asked them some would stop to think about it and start discussing with each other whether a specific place is a quay or harbour, for instance.
Now, after researching (i.e. googling) for a while, I’m here to share with you what I’ve found.
You have probably noticed that I love to watch words fighting.
I mean, there are so many words that look very similar and can have the same meaning in some contexts, that we just ignore their diferences. We assume their meanings.
A friend and former teacher of mine, Vicky, told me something her father says: “don’t assume, or you might be making an ass out of you and me“. Clever, eh?
So, do you really know the difference between assume and presume?
I didn’t. And I’ve just found a video that will…
When we learn a new language we face some words that have a very similar meaning but cannot be used interchangeably. Sometimes even natives can’t distinguish those words but they know automatically where and when to use them properly.
That’s the case with the words finish and end.
Most people use “ZIP code” and “postal code” interchangeably but they’re not the same. ZIP code as many English commonly used words is a brand. Actually it was a brand since it has expired. The New Oxford American Dictionary doesn’t even recognize it as a servicemark but simply as “a postal code consisting of five or nine digits”. The term though cannot be used that broadly…