participle is a word derived from a verb that can be used as an adjective or to form certain verb tenses. There are two main types of participles:
Past participles (typically ending in “-ed,” “-en,” “-n,” “-ne,” or “-t”) are used for perfect tenses and passive voice constructions.
Present participles (always ending in “-ing”) are used for continuous tenses.
Examples: Past participles and present participles in a sentence Surprised by the sound of sirens, I looked out the window.
Andy cleaned up the
I saw Kevin
running down the street.
Everyone stared at the
NoteThe words “past” and “present” do not indicate the specific tenses in which participles are used. Both past participles and present participles can be used in the past, present, and future tense. And both are commonly used as adjectives.
What Is a Participle? | Definition, Types & Examples
A lot and allot are pronounced the same, but they have unrelated meanings.
A lot is used as a pronoun meaning “many” or “a great amount” and an adverb meaning “very much” or “often.”
Allot is a verb meaning “assign” or “distribute.”
Alot is sometimes mistakenly used instead of a lot. However, it isn’t a real word and should be avoided.
Examples: A lot in a sentence
Examples: Allot in a sentence
a lot of fruit but not many vegetables. The president decided to
allot more funding to national defense.
My cat sleeps
a lot. Students should
allot an hour every day to independent study.
*Alot vs. A Lot vs. Allot | Meaning & Correct Spelling
Nowadays is an adverb meaning “at present” or “in comparison with a past time.”
“Now a days,” written with spaces, is sometimes used instead of
nowadays. However, this is not correct and should be avoided. Other variants such as “now-a-days,” “now days,” “nowdays,” and “nowaday” are also wrong.
Examples: Now a days and nowadays in a sentence
Now a days, many people work from home.
Nowadays, many people work from home.
April used to work for a large firm, but
now a days she runs a small legal practice. April used to work for a large firm, but
nowadays she runs a small legal practice.
Is It *Now a Days or Nowadays? | Meaning & Spelling
Beck and call is part of the expression “at someone’s beck and call,” meaning “ready to do whatever someone asks.”
“Beckon call” is sometimes used instead of
beck and call, but it’s incorrect and should be avoided.
Examples: Beck and call and beckon call in a sentence
Rose is at the
beckon call of her boss. Rose is at the
beck and call of her boss.
I’m not at your
beckon call. I’m not at your
beck and call.
NoteWhile the noun beck is closely related to the verb beckon, they don’t mean the same thing and can’t be used interchangeably. Beck is quite rarely used outside of this expression in modern English.
Beck and Call or *Beckon Call | Meaning & Spelling
Gist is a noun meaning “essence” or “main idea.” It’s always preceded by the definite article “the” (you can’t say “a gist”). In legal contexts, gist is used to refer to the grounds of a legal action.
“Jist” is sometimes mistakenly used instead of
gist. However, “jist” is not a real word and should be avoided.
Examples: Jist and gist in a sentence
I got the
jist of the lecture. I got the
gist of the lecture.
What is the
jist of the book? What is the
gist of the book?
Is it *Jist or Gist? | Meaning & Correct Spelling
Practice and practise are two different spellings of the verb meaning “train by repetition” or “engage professionally in something.”
noun is always spelled “practice.” The spelling of the verb varies based on whether you’re writing in UK or US English:
, “practice” (with a “c”) is the noun and “practise” (with an “s”) is the verb. UK English In
, “practice” (with a “c”) is used as both noun and verb. “Practise” (with an “s”) is never used. US English
Examples: Practise and practice in a sentenceI still practise / speaking French, practice albeit not often.
If you want to be a better cook, you should
practise / cooking more often. practice
Gerard’s research has major
implications for clinical practice.
practice of alchemy influenced the modern field of chemistry.
Practice vs. Practise | Definition, Difference & Examples
Genuflect (pronounced [ jen-yoo-flekt]) is a verb referring to the act of briefly bending down on one knee as a sign of respect or worship (similar to kneeling). It’s a common feature of Christian religious practices and marriage proposals.
“Genuflect” is also used metaphorically to describe the behavior of someone who is overly humble or subservient.
Examples: Genuflect in a sentencePatrick didn’t genuflect when he proposed to his fiancée.
protagonist of the story refused to genuflect before the evil king.
I’m not someone who
genuflects for powerful people. I treat everyone equally.
Genuflect | Meaning, Definition & Examples
Kneeled and knelt are two different spellings of the past simple and past participle of the verb “kneel,” used to refer to the act of placing one or both knees on the ground. This action is often used as a gesture of respect or worship (similar to “ genuflecting”).
The spelling of the past tense varies somewhat between
UK and US English:
, “knelt” is standard (though “kneeled” is still acceptable). UK English In
, both “knelt” and “kneeled” are commonly used (“knelt” is more popular). US English
Examples: Kneeled and knelt in a sentenceThe people knelt / before the queen.
knelt / and prayed every morning. kneeled
knelt / on the floor to play with the child. kneeled
NoteVerbs whose past simple and past participle are formed in some way other than by adding the suffix “-ed” are called irregular verbs.
“Kneel” can be either regular or irregular; the irregular form is more popular today, especially in UK English. Other verbs that can be either regular or irregular are “
learnt/learned,” “ dreamt/dreamed,” “ spelt/spelled” and “ burnt/burned.”
Kneeled or Knelt | Meaning, Difference & Examples
Spelt and spelled are two different spellings of the past tense of the verb “spell,” used to refer to the act of writing or saying letters in a specific order to form a word.
The spelling tends to vary based on whether you’re using
UK or US English:
, both “spelled” and “spelt” are commonly used. UK English In
, “spelled” is standard, and “spelt” is generally not accepted. US English
Examples: Spelt and spelled in a sentenceMy name can be spelt / many different ways.
spelt / the word for the teacher. spelled
The two dictionaries
spelt / the word differently. spelled
I’d heard someone talk about Scribbr, but I wasn’t sure how it was
spelt / . spelled
NoteVerbs whose simple past and past participles are formed in some way other than by adding the suffix “-ed” are called irregular verbs.
“Spell” can be either regular or irregular, with the irregular form more common in UK English. This is also true of “
learnt/learned,” “ dreamt/dreamed,” “ knelt/kneeled,” and “ burnt/burned.”
Spelt or Spelled | Meaning, Difference & Examples
Forty (40) is a cardinal number (i.e., a number used to indicate quantity). Like other words for numbers, it can be grammatically classified as a determiner, adjective, noun, or pronoun.
“Fourty” is sometimes used instead of
forty, but this is incorrect. Although “four” is the correct spelling of 4, “fourty” is not a real word and should be avoided. The same applies when forty is used as part of a larger number (e.g., “forty-four,” “one-hundred-forty”).
Examples: Forty and fourty in a sentence
The train was delayed by
fourty minutes. The train was delayed by
Fourty is divisible by four.
Forty is divisible by four.
Is It Forty or *Fourty? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples