Common Errors Starting with G

g vs q

Lower-case “q” strongly resembles lower-case “g” in many typefaces,and the two are often confused with each other and the resultingmisspelling missed in proofreading, for instance “quilt” when “gui...

Read More

ghandi vs gandhi

Mohandas K. Gandhi’s name has an H after the D, not after the G. Note that “Mahatma” (“great soul”) is an honorific title, not actually part of his birth name. The proper pronunciation of the first...

Read More

gaff vs gaffe

Gaffe is a French word meaning “embarrassing mistake,” and should not bemixed up with “gaff”: a large hook.

Read More

gamut vs gauntlet

To “run a gamut” is to go through the whole scale or spectrum of something. To “run the gauntlet” (also gantlet) is to run between two lines of people who are trying to beat you. And don’t confuse ...

Read More

gander vs dander

When you get really angry you “get your dander up.” The derivation of “dander” in this expression is uncertain, but you can’t replace it with “dandruff” or “gander.” The only way to get a gander up...

Read More

gauge vs gouge

“Gauge” is an unusual spelling in English, and the word frequently gets misspelled. Your spelling-checker will catch “gague” (believe it!), but won’t catch “gouge,” which occurs more often than you...

Read More

gaurd vs guard

<p>If you see an advertisement from "Tiger Security Gaurd Services", please ask them to guard their language first. Gaurd is a misspelling. Guard is correct.</p><p>A guard is described as an indivi...

Read More

gender

When discussing males and females, feminists wanting to remove references to sexuality from contexts which don’t involve mating or reproduction revived an older meaning of “gender” which had come t...

Read More

genius vs brilliant

In standard English “genius” is a noun, but not an adjective. In slang, people often say things like “Telling Mom your English teacher is requiring the class to get HBO was genius!” The standard wa...

Read More

genuine

The pronunciation of “genuine” with the last syllable rhyming with “wine” is generally considered less classy than the more common pronunciation in which the last syllable rhymes with “won.”

Read More

get me vs get myself

“I gotta get me a new carburetor,” says Joe-Bob. Translated into standard English, this would be “I have to get myself a new carburetor.” Even better: leave out the “myself.”

Read More

gibe vs jibe vs jive

“Gibe” is a now rare term meaning “to tease.” “Jibe” means “to agree,” but is usually used negatively, as in “the alibis of the two crooks didn’t jibe.” The latter word is often confused with “jive...

Read More

gift vs give

Conservatives are annoyed by the use of “gift” as a verb. If the ad says “gift her with jewelry this Valentine’s Day,” she might prefer that you give it to her.

Read More

gig vs jig

“The jig is up” is an old slang expression meaning “the game isover—we’re caught.” A musician’s job is a gig.

Read More

gild vs guild

You gild an object by covering it with gold; you can join anorganization like the Theatre Guild.

Read More

goal vs objective

Most language authorities consider “goal” to be a synonym of “objective,” and some dismiss the popular bureaucratic phrase “goals and objectives” as a meaningless redundancy.However, if you have to...

Read More

goal vs gaol

UK writers are increasingly using the American spelling “jail” instead of “gaol.” This should be helpful for those who sometimes absentmindedly type “goal” when they mean to write “gaol.”

Read More

god

When “God” is the name of a god, as in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (“Allah” is just Arabic for “God,” and many modern Muslims translate the name when writing in English), it needs to be capital...

Read More

goes

“So he goes, “I thought your birthday was tomorrow,” and I’m—like— ”well, duh!” Perhaps this bizarre pattern developed in analogy to childish phrases such as “the cow goes “moo” ” and “the piggy go...

Read More

gone vs went

This is one of those cases in which a common word has a past participle which is not formed by the simple addition of -ED and which often trip people up. “I should have went to the business meeting...

Read More

gonna vs going to

How do you pronounce “going to” in phrases like “going to walk the dog”? “Gonna,” right? Almost everyone uses this slurred pronunciation, but it’s not acceptable in formal writing except when you’r...

Read More

good vs well

You do something well, but a thing is good. The exception is verbs of sensation in phrases such as “the pie smells good,” or “I feel good.” Despite the arguments of nigglers, this is standard usage...

Read More

good-by vs good-bye vs goodby vs goodbye

All of these spellings are legitimate; but if you want to go with the most popular one, it’s “goodbye.” This spelling has the advantage of recalling the word’s origins in phrases like “God be with ...

Read More

got vs gotten

In the UK, the old word “gotten” dropped out of use except in suchstock phrases as “ill-gotten” and “gotten up,” but in the US it isfrequently used as the past participle of “get.” sometimes the tw...

Read More

got to vs have got to

“Gotta go now. Bye!” This is a common casual way to end a phone conversation. But it’s good to remember that it’s a slangy abbreviation of the more formal “I have got to go now.” In writing, at lea...

Read More

gp practice vs general practice

“GP” stands for “general practitioner,” so a “GP practice is a “general practitioner practice,” which isn’t exactly redundant, but strikes some people as awkward. However, if you don’t want to spel...

Read More

graduate vs graduate from

In certain dialects (notably that of New York City) it is common to say“he is going to graduate school in June” rather than the more standard“graduate from.” When writing for a national or internat...

Read More

graffiti

Graffiti is an Italian plural form. One scrawl on a wall is a graffito. But few English speakers are aware of this distinction and say things like “there’s a graffiti on the storefront.” This is no...

Read More

grammer vs grammar

<p>Grammar is a system of rules and principles guiding the speaking and writing of a language. It entails the basic rules and composition of a sentence (syntax), internal structure of words (morpho...

Read More

grasping for straws vs grasping at straws

To grasp at straws is to make desperate but futile attempts to escape from a problem. The image is of a drowning person wildly thrashing about trying to find something to keep afloat with, madly gr...

Read More

gratis vs gratuitous

If you do something nice without being paid, you do it “gratis.” Technically, such a deed can also be “gratuitous"; but if you do or say something obnoxious and uncalled for, it’s always “gratuitou...

Read More

gray vs grey

<p>‘Gray’ and ‘grey’ are both considered to be a correct spelling of the color that combines white and black. ‘Gray’ tends to be the spelling favored by U.S. native English speakers, while ‘grey’ i...

Read More

greatful vs grateful

<p>Grateful has no evident link to greatness but to gratitude. It means someone is thankful or appreciative of a kind or warm gesture shown.</p> <pre>"<i>I am grateful for the opportunity to work ...

Read More

grill vs grille

You cook on a grill (perhaps in a “bar and grill”), but the word for a metal framework over the front of an opening is most often grille. When speaking of intensive questioning “grill” is used beca...

Read More

grisly vs grizzly

“Grisly” means “horrible”; a “grizzly” is a bear. “The grizzly left behind the grisly remains of his victim.” “Grizzled,” means “having gray hairs,” not to be confused with “gristly,” full of gristle.

Read More

group (plural vs. singular)

When the group is being considered as a whole, it can be treated as asingle entity: “the group was ready to go on stage.” But when theindividuality of its members is being emphasized, “group” is pl...

Read More

grow

We used to grow our hair long or grow tomatoes in the yard, but now weare being urged to “grow the economy” or “grow your investments."Business and government speakers have extended this usage wide...

Read More

guess who? vs guess who!

Since “Guess who” is a command rather than a real question, technically it should not be followed by a question mark. A period or exclamation point will do fine. Similarly, there should be no quest...

Read More

gull vs gall

<p>Gull is used to refer to a dishonest person or cheating act, it could also be the name of a particular sea bird.</p><pre>"Joseph is a heartless gull."</pre><p>Gall on the other hand refers to ne...

Read More

gyp vs cheat

Gypsies complain that “gyp” (“cheat”) reflects bias; but the word is sowell entrenched and its origin so obscure to most users that there islittle hope of eliminating it from standard use any time ...

Read More

ground zero

“Ground zero” refers to the point at the center of the impact of a nuclear bomb, so it is improper to talk about “building from ground zero” as if it were a place of new beginnings. You can start f...

Read More