13 Commonly Misused English Phrases

May 21, 2018

Commonly Misused English Phrases

The English language is generally known for being quite tricky and is constantly evolving every day, so it is inevitable that mistakes are going to be made. Even for native English speakers, pitfalls in grammar, pronunciation and word use are incredibly common and frequent.

Familiar English phrases are spoken all of the time, but sometimes eggcorns are used instead. Eggcorns are words or phrases that are created from the results of mishearing the original word or phrase; they sound very similar but often mean something completely different. Here are some of the most common incorrectly used expressions versus the correct way to use them:

1. Nip it in the butt vs. Nip it in the bud

Nipping it in the bud means you are putting an end to something before it actually starts, but nipping it in the butt means you are biting its backside.

2. I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less

I couldn’t care less means that you don’t care about the chosen topic at all, but saying that I could care less means that you do care about it at least a little bit.

3. One in the same vs. One and the same

One and the same means that two things are the same, one in the same doesn’t make any sense.

4. For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes

For all intents and purposes means that you are covering all possibilities and circumstances, but for all intensive purposes doesn’t make any sense, even if you do feel intense about your purpose.

5. I’m giving you leadway vs. I’m giving you leeway

I’m giving you leeway means extra space, whereas the word leadway isn’t actually in the dictionary.

6. Expresso vs. Espresso

An espresso is a coffee drink, and expresso is not.

7. Irregardless vs. Regardless

Regardless means without regard, but irregardless makes this a double negative which consequently doesn’t make any sense.

8.Phase vs. Faze

Faze means to disrupt and confuse, and phase refers to periods of time.

9. Hone in vs. Home in

To home in on something means to get closer to it, the word hone means to improve somehow so does not make sense.

10. Case ‘and’ point vs. Case ‘in’ point

Case in point means to show an example of the point you’re making, using the word ‘and’ instead makes them two separate things.

11. Should/could/would ‘of’ vs. Should/could/would ‘have’

You need to pair a verb with another verb like should/could/would ‘have’, the use of the word ‘of’ is incorrect.

12. ‘Supposably’ vs. ‘Supposedly’

Supposedly means something that is generally assumed, supposably isn’t an actual word.

13. Bare with me vs. Bear with me

Bear with me means to have patience with you, but bare with me means undress with me.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when you first learn a language, and learning from these is very beneficial. Keep this cheat sheet safe with so you can use the correct phrases when you need to.