Rules Project #15: Allusion vs. Illusion

Although I never use these two words in my writing frequently, it is very important to know the difference and be able to correctly use them in your writing. 


*Allusion: A passing reference or indirect mention

Example: Her article made an allusion to the actor’s criminal past.


*Illusion: A deceptive appearance or impression; an erroneous mental representation

Example: They have the illusion that I am very wealthy


Rules Project #14: Anyone vs. Any one

Ever wonder when you put the two words “any” and “one” together and when you do not!?  Well here is your answer!


*Anyone: Any person

Example: Has anyone seen my wallet?


*Any one: Refers to an unidentified individual

Example: If any one of your friends knows where my wallet is, please have them give it back.

Rules Project #12: Ad vs. Add

A grammar error that I often see in my own papers is the use of “ad” and “add.”  For a long time I thought that it was only wrote as “add” but here are some tips to know the difference!


*Ad: A public promotion of some product or service

Example: He put an ad in the paper to sell his home.


*Add: Make an addition (to); join or combine or unite with others; increase the quality, quantity, size or scope of

Example: You don’t have to add insult to rejection.

Affect and Effect

Affect and Effect

I have already done a rules post on the difference of affect and effect, but I found this picture and thought it was a great simple way to remember the difference! Hope it helps!

Rules Project #11: Burned vs. Burnt

As I have been completing my rules project I have stumbled over several words that are often confused because of meaning, tense and punctuation; however, one instance that I just found for the first time is more based on where you are in the world, rather than a grammar difference.  The two words that I found for this idea were burned and burnt. 

*“Burned” and “burnt” are both acceptable past-tense forms of the verb “burn,” but which one you use depends on where you live because the verb “burned” is the most common form in the United States, and the verb “burnt” is the most common form in Britain.

  1. Mom burned the muffins.
  2. Mum burnt the crumpets.

*When you’re using the words as adjectives, then “burnt” is also used in the United States, although “burned” is still an option.

  1. My favorite dessert is burnt cream.
  2. What happened to my burnt umber crayon?
  3. My husband looked at the burnt turkey and suggested we order pizza.

Rules Project #10: Ate vs. Eaten

Ate and eaten are two words that I have never thought much about when using them.  However, in an article I was just reading I noticed that they wrote “if you have eaten…” and the thought popped in my head.  Should they have used eaten in the sentence or should they have used ate?  Here’s some tips to help you decide when to use them!


Ate-“Ate” is the simple past tense

Eaten-“Eaten” is a past participle and is used in conjunction with another word to form a different type of past tense – ex:  “I had eaten the apple” (past perfect  or “I have eaten the apple” (present perfect)).

The past participle (in this case, “eaten”) is also used in passive forms, ex:  “The apple was eaten by me”.

Simple rule: If there is another word between the person doing the eating and the verb, then use “eaten”; otherwise, it’s just “ate” — so you’d say “Bill ate his dinner”, but “Bill has eaten his dinner”.