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Bare/bear, allowed/aloud, advice/advise, and break/brake

We've got a bunch going all at once, here: learn to tell the differences between these eight frequently-confused words.

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  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user Flying Sky Bison
    Hello! I've found that most of these are pretty easy... I was hoping that we would work on : which and witch. Is there a video on it that I haven't seen ? Thanks : )
    (6 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Ainesis santiago
    I'm a little bit confused cuz if break means: something that falls apart
    and brake means: something that slows you down
    then what about the other break? for ex. Mr.Jony look at the clock and noticed that it was time for a lunch break. idk if you spell it that way, or if you understand what I was trying to say... But thank you for ready!

    btw 2019 anyone?? most of the comments are like 2years ago and 3 or even 4 years ago... how old is khan academy?

    Also I hope that I spelled everything right...
    (6 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user TeenJinxy
    lol We Bare Bears
    (8 votes)
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  • primosaur ultimate style avatar for user chair
    i can't bear bare bears
    (7 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user pitufindiasupercool
    but, I thougth the word break meant recces; is that wrong?
    (4 votes)
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  • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
    I saw another today. In a newspaper article about transfer of power in an Asian government, the word "reigns" was used where "reins" was intended. That sent me to musing as follows:

    Climate change driven rains in the middle of the continent have ended the reigns of three kings of small nations there. In each, the monarch was forced to turn the reins of power over to a daughter.

    Got all three words, each with the same pronunciation, into one lead to a newspaper article. I'd love to see others, using any set of three words that are all pronounced similarly. So, here's my question; "Can you do it?"
    (6 votes)
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  • leafers tree style avatar for user SnowyRawrGamer
    Advice = Information (Usually Someone's Opinion)
    Advise = Giving Information
    Jerry advised me not to play Battlegrounds. I followed his advice.

    Aloud = LOUD
    Allowed = Permission

    I shouted aloud, "Khan Academy!"
    I was allowed to use Khan Academy.

    Break = Stop or destroy
    Brake = Car Part
    I took a break from video games.
    My car brake helps slow it down.

    Bear = Animal or Carry
    Bare = Empty

    I saw a bear on my hike. / I couldn't bear to carry the suitcase one moment longer.
    The room was bare. There was nothing in it.

    Hope this helped! -Snowy
    (4 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Felicious
    Would the sentence 'The wolf bared its teeth.' be correct, or would it be bear?
    (2 votes)
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  • male robot donald style avatar for user Zeb
    I don’t really find any of these confusing…
    (4 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Karen Elizabeth
    I thought "brake" was like "we are on the Brake of the end of the world" Is that also true? Edit - I might have heard It wrong, Maybe I'm thinking of "brink" I don't know I just know I've heard something like that before
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

- [David] Hello grammarians, hello Eman. - [Eman] Hello. - [David] Today we're going to be talking about four sets of frequently confused words. The one that I want to begin with is advice and advise. How do we keep these two words straight? Well, first of all, advice with a 'c' is a noun and advise with an 's' is a verb. These are really easy to screw up because they look very similar and you'd think that they have approximately the same sound, but the 'c' is advice actually ends up having a sss sound, an 's', and the 's' in advise ends up having a zzz sound, a 'z' sound. Let's use these both in a sentence. Bertram gives terrible advice. Mopewa advised us not to surf on a full stomach. So the word advice, the noun, contains another noun, the word vice, which is kinda like a, it's a type of clamp usually tightened by means of a metal screw and you turn it with a handle. In my context, in my experience, I've used it in woodworking projects to keep pieces of wood still. You want to clamp something while it's being glued together. You've got two pieces of wood, let's say this little piece of red wood and this little piece of blue wood. You want to glue them together, hold them still with a vice. If you remember that a vice is noun, you can remember that advice is a noun. And when you advise someone, yes, you are giving them advice, but this is the verb form. - [Eman] Now we have two other words that sound the same, but are very different. We have aloud and allowed. Now, they are both adjectives, but they have different spellings and different meanings. Let's start with the first aloud, which is spelled A-L-O-U-D. Note that it has the word loud in it, which can help us remember that this word talks about something being spoken loudly. Let's use that in a sentence. Ginny muttered aloud. - [David] So when we say aloud A-L-O-U-D we mean it is audible, it can be heard. It contains that word, aloud. Cool. What's this next one? - [Eman] Allowed with two 'l's. And a good way to remember this is to think about the word legal, which has two 'l's. If something is legal, it is also allowed, or permissible. Let's think of an example. Oliver allowed no peppers in his soup. - [David] Very allergic. - [Eman] He's very allergic, yes. Similarly, you might be allowed to drive at 60 mph because it is legal to drive at that speed. - [David] Sweet. Let's move on to our next set. Over here we have break and brake. These are both nouns and verbs, right? To break something is to crack it in half or to split or just to ruin or destroy something, but it also refers to the results of a crack or a split. Like you could say the break in a vase. Whereas brake, also a noun and a verb, refers to slowing stuff down. So to slow down or the mechanism that does the slowing. We have here both a verb form and we have here the verb form and the noun form. - [Eman] How do you remember the difference between them? - [David] Let's take it from the decision point. I'm writing a sentence and I'm trying to figure out which one I want to use. Let's just imagine we've got this un-word, brak, here. Now, if I want to use the break and destroy sense, in order to do that I just have to break the word in half and put that 'e' right in the middle. I broke the word in half, I put the 'e' right in the center, and that means that I've cracked the word. But let's say I've got brak over here. I want to slow down its forward momentum. I'm going to put that 'e' (mimics braking noise) right at the end. It looks sort of like a spring, we want to halt its momentum by putting that 'e' at the end. So let's put these into a sentence. Jesse breaks a vase. And how do we remember to say breaks with 'e-a-k'? Well, we put the 'e' in the middle. We break the word in half, we put the 'e' in the middle. Let's do the other one. Paolo slammed on the brakes. And how do we remember we want to have the 'e' at the end? Well, the 'e' is trying to slow Paolo down. We're trying to halt that momentum by putting that spring-looking 'e' at the end of the word. This one's one of my favorites. It's the difference between bear, B-E-A-R, and bare, B-A-R-E. Now the word bear, E-A-R, can be either a verb or a noun. When it's a noun it's this critter, but when it's a verb it means to carry. And B-A-R-E is an adjective meaning naked or empty. When I say bear as a verb, I mean that in the sense of bearing a burden, if you've heard that expression. Or if you've ever heard somebody say, I can't bear it! That literally means I can't carry it, but metaphorically means I can't withstand it. Bare is something more like, the cupboards were bare, meaning empty. Open up the cupboard, a fly comes out, something like that. So how do we keep these two words separate? Well, all you have to remember is this simple mnemonic: E before A, take it away. A before E, everyone can see that you are naked, or that your cupboard is empty. Those are just a couple of mnemonic devices, just memory aides that will, ideally, assist you in keeping these sets of words straight. You can learn anything. David out. - [Eman] Eman out.