#BusEng: Common Mistakes in Business English

So today we are going to discuss common mistakes in the context of business English.

The following words can also be useful if you are reading business or economy related articles.

1. Adverse and averse. The first means harmful/unfavorable. The second is dislike/opposition.

Example: “Adverse market condition caused the hiring process to be delayed.”

Example: “I was averse to paying USD 1,500 for a service that has been proven unsatisfactory.”

2. Affect – effect. Even many native speakers are still prone to this mistake; we’ll try to explain it to you again here.

Affect means to influence. It can also mean a mental state, or when you are able to influence what others don’t.

Example: “Impatient investors affected our roll-out date.”

Effect means to accomplish something. It has a more active tonality compared to ‘affect’.

With ‘effect’ you are implementing something. With ‘affect’ you are influencing something.

Example: “The board effected a sweeping change.” You can use ‘affect’ for this sentence and the meaning will slightly differ.

3. Compliment – Complement. The first means saying something nice. The second is to add, enhance, or complete.

Example: “I compliment you for complementing your service with a mobile app.” <– Best way to explain it! LOL

4. Criteria – criterion. It’s Latin, and yes the first one is plural. The second is singular.

Example: “One of the criteria of being a good secretary is attention to detail.”

5. Farther – Further. The first one is physical distance, the second is figurative distance.

Example: “I need to do some research before we can discuss this further.”

Example: “I will be in trouble if you are moving your desk any farther.”

6. Insure – Ensure. Insure is insurance, ensure is to make sure.

Example: “You need to ensure that the car is insured before you take it on a business trip.”

7. Number – Amount. Number is measurable (bisa dihitung), amount is not.

Example: “The amount of caffeine we have everyday at work is staggering.”

Staggering = so surprising and impressive it wows you.

8. Precede – Proceed. The first means come before. The second means to continue.

Example: “Let’s proceed to discuss the preceding data on smartphone use in emerging market.”

Emerging market = negara yg memiliki potensi mjd pasar berkembang, tapi potensi tsb belum terpenuhi.

10. Principal – Principle. The first means most important, the second is fundamental (mendasar).

Example: “The principals of the company all share the same certain principles.”

Principal can also means a headmaster in a school, or top executives in a company.

Got any questions related to English in business or office setting? Ask away!

Souce: TIME

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 31 Aug 2014.

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