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Warn or worn?

11 Feb

DictionariesThis one was suggested by my friend Linda quite a long time ago; I have revived these Troublesome Pairs posts yet again, so watch out for some good ones coming up over the next few weeks.

This is a tricky one for those who get vowels mixed up; often people coming to English from a language that doesn’t mark vowels in the same way, such as Arabic, can get caught out by all our very similar words, especially when they sound almost the same.

To warn, a verb, means to alert someone about something which is about to happen, usually bad. You can issue a warning (the noun) or be warning (verb) someone about the problem.

Worn is the past tense of wear OR an adjective arising from it, and both words have two meanings: to have on the body, as in clothes (I will wear a hat today) or to do with erosion and damage through constant use or friction, etc. (the water of the river has worn through the rock to make a valley; I have an old, worn book that has been damaged by years of use).

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs, Writing

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “Warn or worn?

  1. Don Massenzio

    February 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here is a handy post from the Libro Editing blog on the difference between the words warn and worn.

    Like

     
  2. The Owl Lady

    February 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Viv Drewa – The Owl Lady.

    Like

     

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