Assure, Ensure, Insure
Assure: is used when you are trying to make certain of something or if you are trying to ease uncertainties or doubts, for example, with new weapons, their victory was ‘assured.’ Her accountant ‘assured‘ her of her financial status.
Ensure: can be used to make sure that a problem doesn’t occur. Conversely, it can be used to make sure something does happen or be the case or to make certain that something is obtained or provided. For example, only by making certain that she leaves on time will she ‘ensure‘ that she will not be late for class. Astronauts will need intense training to ‘ensure‘ their safe arrival on Mars. The Party had extra security to ‘ensure‘ the safety of the revellers.
Insure: is used when you want to protect against damage or theft, for example, I will ‘insure‘ my home against burglary.
Breath: is the word used when referring to air that is inhaled and exhaled, for example, when you’re angry, try taking a deep ‘breath‘ to calm down.
Breathe: is the repeated intake of breaths, for example, when exercising, remember to ‘breathe‘ in order to pump oxygen to your muscles.
Compliment: is used when expressing admiration for somebody or praising them. For example, she ‘complimented‘ him for his sense of style.
Complement: is used when two separate things go together well. For example, they all agreed that the wine provided an excellent ‘complement‘ to the meal.
Emigrate: is used when speaking of leaving one’s native country to move to another one permanently, for example, when he was a child his family ‘emigrated‘ from England to Australia.
Immigrate: is used when someone comes to live permanently in a country of which they are not a native, for example, the Australian family ‘immigrated‘ to England. A simple way to remember the difference is to think of Emigrate as leaving a place and Immigrate as coming to a place.
Principle: is used to convey a basic idea or rule that explains how something works. It can also be used when speaking of moral rules or standards of good behaviour. For example, the principles of the criminal justice system. Lying is against his ‘principles.’
Principal: is used when speaking about the first in order of importance. It can also denote an original sum of money invested or lent on which interest is paid. For example, one of the countries ‘principal‘ cities. The ‘principal‘ amount of your investment.
Stationary: is used to indicate something which is not moving, for example, it ‘s hard for me to sit in a ‘stationary‘ position for extended periods of time.
Stationery: is used when speaking of office or writing materials. For example, could you get me some paper from the ‘stationery‘ cupboard, please?
Flour: is used when you are referring to the fine, powdery baking ingredient, for example, don’t forget to add ‘flour‘ to your cake mixture (unless you’re gluten free of course.)
Flower: is used when speaking about a plant, grown and appreciated for its blossoms, for example, he brought her a bright red ‘flower‘ on their first date.
As is usual, thank you for reading and making it this far down the page!
© 2017 GLT