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Language Navigator simultaneously searches all of the writing tools, quizzes and blog posts on the Language Portal of Canada. It gives you access to everything you need to write well in English and French: articles on language difficulties, linguistic recommendations, conjugation tables, translation suggestions and much more.

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Results 1 to 10 of 165 (page 1 of 17)

cannot, can not

A writing tip on how to use cannot and can not.
Both cannot and can not are correct. However, cannot is the far more common spelling and should be used in most cases. We recommend the following guidelines. Single word Use cannot in most cases when the meaning is “be unable to”: Ted cannot (is unable to) find his keys. The parties cannot (are unable to) agree. Erica cannot (is unable to) play at the jazz festival. Note: The contraction is can’t. Two words Use can not when you want to give particular emphasis to the word not: No, Mr. Smith can not use the company car. His licence has been suspended. Erica can not reach a speed of 75 km per hour on her bike! I refuse to believe such an absurd claim! Use can not when the word not belongs with a separate structure: Jessica can not only add but also multiply large numbers in her head. [not is part of the expression not only…but also] Abdul can enter the contest, or he can not enter it, as he likes. [not belongs with enter: can not enter = is able to not enter] OR Abdul can enter the contest or not, as he likes.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 16,602

leap, leaped, leapt

A writing tip on the difference between the verb forms leap, leaped and leapt.
The past tense of leap is leaped (pronounced leepd) or leapt (pronounced lept). The verb is often followed by prepositions such as at, down, from, into, on, onto, out of, over, toward, up, and upon. Holger leapt at the chance to show off his wit. The lion leaped from his hiding place upon his prey. The cat leapt onto the windowsill to stare at the chickadees perched on the feeder. The startled frog leaped out of the water, as the children leaped into the pond. The toddler leapt up and down, delighted at the sight of her new puppy.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 16,033

Affect or effect 1

A quiz on the different uses of affect and effect.Because affect and effect sound alike, they are easy to confuse. See if you can match the context to the correct word.1. Medical studies show that exposure to all commonly used pesticides adversely health.affectseffects2. Let's put our plan into .affecteffect3. Diabetes is a disease that over two million Canadians.affectseffects4. Jason can a French-Canadian accent as easily as a French accent.affecteffect5. Although Marla cried, her tears had no on the jury.affecteffect6. Apply the lotion to the areas.affectedeffected7. The medication takes on the patient within 30 minutes.affecteffect8. The patient displayed a flat : he showed no emotional expression.affecteffect  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 14,987

Homonym action 1

An English-language quiz on how to spell certain homonyms.While homonyms may sound the same, they actually have different meanings. This can make the transition from speaking to writing challenging at times. Look carefully at the context to pick the right word.1. Please your staff to see who would like to attend the training session.canvascanvass2. It is better to on the side of caution in this matter.errereheir3. Nurses and paramedics are likely to encounter grisly in their work.citessitessights4. When hiking in the Rockies, stay away from bears.grislygrizzly5. Fifty people attended the wedding ceremony, conducted according to Hindu .writesrightsrites6. The junk food is in the same as the health food in this convenience store.isleaisleI'll7. The Internet is really slow during periods.peakpeekpique  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 12,519

lead, led

A writing tip on the difference between the homonyms lead and led.
Lead (pronounced leed) is the correct spelling for the present tense of the verb to lead. Its past tense led is often misspelled with ea. Lead the way, captain! Surin led from start to finish to win the gold medal. The noun lead (pronounced led) is a metallic element. The pieces of a stained–glass window are joined by strips of lead.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 10,637

Confusable words

An English-language quiz on confusable words.Many words can be confused with other words (or even with non-words!). For example, when do you use bad or badly? Continually or continuously? See if you know the correct word in the sentences below!1. “Bad” or “badly”?Martha felt bad for the injured bird.Bullying makes people feel badly about themselves.both are correct2. “Continually” or “continuously”?Traffic moved continuously along the busy street.While learning to skate, Jordan fell down continually.both are correct3. “Fewer” or “less”?Fewer people are getting married nowadays.I got less presents for my birthday than my brother did.both are correct4. “Farther” or “further”?How much farther to Edmonton?Do you have any further questions?both are correct5. “Irregardless” and “regardless” are often confused. Which of the following is correct?"Irregardless" is an adverb meaning "in spite of.""Regardless" is an adverb meaning "anyway" or "nonetheless."both are correct6. “Seldom” or “seldomly”?We seldom go to parties during the week.The man next door seldomly rakes his lawn.both are correct  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 9,824

Bring versus take

An English quiz in which the user has to decide whether “bring” or “take” is the correct word to use in each sentence.Bring and take are easily confused. If you're not sure when to use these tricky little verbs, here's a good rule of thumb: bring implies movement toward the speaker's current location, while take implies movement away from the speaker's current location. You can also use various definitions of bring and take to help you decide which verb to use.Are you ready to bring your A game and take our quiz? In the questions below, choose the correct verb to complete the sentence.1. Could you please me a glass of water?bringtake2. I have to the car to the mechanic tomorrow.bringtake3. How many suitcases have you on this trip?broughttaken4. I'll remember to my photo album to your house next time I come over.bringtake5. I the kids to the library yesterday.broughttook6. I'll be a warm sweater when I go to my cousin's house on Sunday.bringingtaking7. My steak is overcooked! Please it away.bringtake8. Would you like me to you the bill? bringtake9. When Blake came to visit me, she her baby with her.broughttook10. Phones aren't permitted in the classroom. That's why I've yours from you.broughttaken  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 8,806

One word or two: Separate or together?

A quiz on English words that can be written as one word or two words.English contains many terms that may be written as either one word or two, depending on their meaning and function. Choosing the right spelling can be a challenge!For each pair of terms below, see if you can fill in the blank with the correct spelling.1. Vivianne exercises .everydayevery day2. This set of ironstone china is sturdy enough for use.everydayevery day3. We saw the sound and light show on Parliament Hill last summer.sometimesome time4. It will take before he accepts the truth.sometimesome time5. This accident could have happened to of us.anyoneany one6. can join us for lunch.anyoneany one7. The mid-rise boot-cut jean is the perfect fit for .anybodyany body8. My art teacher says that can learn to draw.anybodyany body  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 6,450

segue, Segway

A writing tip explaining the origin and use of the term segue and the difference between segue and Segway.
The word segue (pronounced SEG-way) is an Italian word meaning “it follows.” Although this word has now passed into general use in English, it was originally a term in music, indicating a seamless transition between pieces of music. In general language, the verb segue means “to move smoothly from one topic or activity to another.” The present participle is spelled segueing. Ask for participants’ reactions as a way to segue (or as a way of segueing) into the next subject. Segue can also be used as a noun meaning “a smooth transition.” This discussion provides a nice segue into the last topic. This term should not be confused with its homonym Segway, which is the brand name for a personal transportation device.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 6,345

eligible, illegible

A writing tip on the difference between eligible and illegible.
The near-homonyms eligible and illegible are adjectives. Eligible means “fit” or “qualified.” You will not be eligible for promotion until you have worked here for two years. Illegible signifies “unreadable.” It is often said that doctors have illegible handwriting.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 6,217