Spell Jar Post Seven (31 to 36)

31. That, Who – These are what I call “refer back” pronouns

Who refers back to a person.  The man who flew into space came back a week later.

That refers back to a place or an animal.  The red spotted dog is the one that bit me.

If you use either in the other way (like the man that or the dog who), you are conferring properties upon the noun – making the man a thing and the dog a person.

32. Threw, Through – These words sound alike but their meanings are not alike.

Threw means tossed, like she threw the ball to first base.  He threw the ball and broke a window. This is also the word you would use in ‘he threw the game’ meaning he deliberately let the other team win.

Through means went into and came out a different side, as in the ball didn’t go to the first baseman, but instead went through the rose bushes. She walked through the door.

33. Way, Weigh, Whey – I recently saw one of these words used incorrectly – you do not way in when offering your opinion, you weigh in. If you are measuring your weight before a wrestling match, you also weigh in.

Way has a multitude of meanings. It can be a path (on the way, by the wayside), it can mean extensive (that’s way to much), or direction (which way to Grandma’s House) and more

Weigh is a measurement of mass versus gravity. How much do you weigh?  Or as mentioned above it can mean offering an opinion. He weighed in on the discussion.

Whey is a dairy by-product.  You may be familiar with this line from a poem: “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey.”  A lot of weird words show up in that line –  a tuffet is a stool, curds are like cottage cheese, and the whey can be either the liquidy runny part of cottage cheese or the thinner excess of that liquid which can be a drink.  But these days whey is generally used in processed foods.

34. Wear, Ware, Where – These words should have a subtle difference in pronunciation, but usually do not.

Wear is to use clothing or other adornments.  Another meaning is to show use as in there is a lot of wear on that tire.

Ware is sometimes used in place of beware, but that is colloquial (old) usage.  It is also a type of goods, like housewares – usables in the kitchen usually.  Turn it around and you have warehouse which is a place to store items (wares).

Where is actually a pronoun refering to a place. Where did you put my socks? Here’s another use: wherewithall . It means sort of like sense or awareness. I wonder if she has the wherewithall to survive those conditions.

Look them up to find other meanings.

35. Wonder, Wander –

Wonder is to contemplate, think about, or mentally be in awe. I wonder if I’ll this is a good thing.(contemplate) And here’s a usage most will find familiar: and what to my wondering (awe stricken) eyes should appear . . .

Wander is to travel in an unplanned manner or just to travel. She wandered off alone. She spent her life wandering the world. The child wandered off and became lost. In class, her mind wandered off the subject.

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