English usage | Sunday Observer

English usage

1 May, 2022

This is a guide to help learners to communicate easily in both speech and writing through a better understanding of the English language.

Amoral / moral
‘Amoral’ means ‘without moral quality or not concerned with morals or having no moral standards by which you may be judged.’
Amoral people are found in every society.
‘Moral’ means ‘relating to the principles of what is right and wrong behaviour, and with the difference between good and evil
The book places a high moral value on marriage.
Amount / number
An amount is a quantity of something such as time, money or a substance.
I had to spend a considerable amount of money to build my house.
A number is a word or sign that represents an exact amount or quantity.
What’s your mobile number?
Analysis / synthesis
An analysis is a careful examination of something in order to understand it better.
Further analysis of the data is needed.
A synthesis is something that has been made combining different things or the process of combining things.
Krishnamurti’s philosophy is a synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophical ideas.
Analyst / annalist
An analyst is someone whose job is to think about something carefully in order to understand it, and often to advise the people about it.
Geoff worked as a political analyst.
An annalist is one who writes annals or chronicles.
Ancient / antique
‘Ancient’ is invariably used to refer to a remote past.
Raj is studying the history of the ancient world.
‘Antique’ means ‘belonging to former times.’
Bulner is a lover of antique furniture.
Angry with / angry at
‘Angry’ is followed by ‘with’ when the object of the anger is a person.
I was angry with him because he called me a fool.
‘Angry’ is followed by ‘at’ when the anger is caused by situations or events.
Anuradha was angry at the long delay at the bank.
Antagonist / protagonist
An antagonist is someone who is opposed to another in any kind of contest or fight.
A protagonist is the leading character in a play or novel.
Ante- / anti- -
The prefix ‘ante-’means ‘before in space or times as in antecedent or antenatal.’
The prefix ‘anti’ means ‘against or opposed to, as in anti-aircraft or anticlimax’
Anyone / any one
‘Anyone’ is followed by a singular verb.
Anyone who leaves office without permission risks losing their job.
Ben has not conveyed the message to any one of us.
Apiary / aviary
An apiary is a place where bees are kept.
An aviary is a place for keeping birds.