Most Misused Words And Phrases: Part 2

I recommend you also read the other part:

This article is the second of two parts that provide lists of English words and phrases that should either not be used or often should not be used (in articles at least), with corresponding corrections or alternatives.

After editing thousands of articles for the past few years I have developed a list of words and phrases that I often modify. The list is a result of many actual uses of the words and phrases in articles I have edited. Some of them I always modify (such as "firstly") and for some of them, whether I change them highly depends upon the meaning. Most of the words and phrases in this article (Part 2) I change quite often in articles. I have another article (Part 1) with more words and phrases. I wish I had more examples but instead of waiting to find examples I will submit this now and update it later.

In the following table, three of the cells in the "To" column have a bar ("|"). The bar character means "or" in C# and that is what it means here too. In other words "when | whereas" means "when" or "whereas".
From To Comments
achieve do | accomplish See "achieve, demonstrate, give and make sure" below.
after that then Usually
am having have Usually
are going to will Often
as since See below.
coming future Usually
demonstrate show See "achieve, demonstrate, give and make sure" below.
Ex: For example: Always; the abbreviation is unnecessary and potentially confusing.
find out determine Usually
firstly first Always
give provide Usually
go ahead proceed Usually
going ahead proceeding Usually
had have when in "have created" or "had provided"
have seen saw See below.
in the project to the project See below.
inbuilt inbuilt Always
Introduction of Introduction to Usually
is going to will Usually
learnt learned Always
lets let's Always when "lets" is used to mean "let us"
like as such as Usually
like below as in the following Usually
make sure ensure | be sure See "achieve, demonstrate, give and make sure" below.
post article See below.
till until Always
upcoming future Nearly always
while when | whereas See below.
whole entire Usually
would be will be See below.

Extended Comments

The following provides further explanation of many of the words and phrases.

achieve, demonstrate, give and make sure

The words "achieve", "demonstrate" and "give" and the phrase "make sure" are usually used properly in the articles I edit but they are used more frequently than they are normally used. People whose native language is English will likely notice that the words are used more frequently than is normal. It is better to use alternatives (not always but use of alternatives will keep the articles more interesting and will provide less distraction caused by vocabulary).


The word "as" is ambiguous in the sense that, like many words, it has multiple meanings. Unfortunately it is sometimes not easily clear which meaning is relevant. Therefore it is better to say "since" instead of "as" when "since" can say what is intended to be said.

in the project

The phrase "in the project" is usually used in the articles I edit to refer to something that already exists. They are usually talking about doing something and for that a verb is needed that communicates action. The following shows an improper sentence and the corresponding proper way to say it.

Not good Good
We need to add a source file in the project. We need to add a source file to the project.

have seen

I am not sure why "have seen" sounds unusual when it does. It is totally valid and generally means the same as "saw". Usually, either can be used, but many times it just sounds better to say "saw" instead. My main suggestion is to attempt to become familiar with the use of both and hopefully you will learn when it would be good to say "saw" instead of "have seen".


It is technically appropriate to call an article a post but the word "post" implies something that is only posted (as in a forum post) and is only processed by computers without any further involvement by people. I think it is better to call an article and "article" since that recognizes that multiple people are involved. In C# Corner blogs are separate from articles so therefore it is misleading and confusing to call an article a "blog post".


I often see "while" used instead of "when". Perhaps a good explanation of the difference is that "while" describes something being done and something else is also happening. The word "when" is related to an event; it is often used for events such as something begins (or is to begin) or ends.

So for example, instead of saying "while you start the application you must press the button" you should say "when you start the application you must press the button" unless there is a button separate from the application that must be pressed at the same time as starting the application. Understand the difference?

Occasionally I see "while" used when it would be more appropriate to say "whereas" but that is so occasional that I do not mind making that change when appropriate.

would be

Verb tense can be confusing for people whose native language is not English. In the articles I edit the phrase "would be" is often used when "will be" should be. Unfortunately it is difficult for me to be more specific.

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