Troublesome words

Some words give us more trouble than others.

This group seems to belong together in the troublemaker group. I will try to use each example in a sentence to help explain how they should be used.

altogether or all together

The child received altogether too much attention for her own good.

Altogether it was a good weekend.

It was a wonderful time because the family was all together at Thanksgiving.

anytime or any time

Please visit me anytime you like.

Do you think you will have any time to do that mending?

anyplace – colloquial, better to avoid it

Use anywhere instead.

anyway or any way

I know you don’t want to take the gift but I want to give it anyway.

Is there any way you can make it work?

anyplace and someplace – use anywhere and somewhere instead. Putting “s” on these words to make anywheres and somewheres, is a no-no! Bad, bad, bad! Same goes for anyways, everywheres, and nowheres.

everyday, every day, everyone, every one

Everyday means ordinary. Every day tells when.

Sunshine was an everyday occurrence. It happened every day.

Everyone means all people in a group or category. Every one means each person.

Everyone came out to hear the actor reciting Dickens’ work. It ended with “God bless us every one.”

Sometime and sometimes or some time and some times.

I will visit you sometime in February, but sometimes it snows and the roads can be bad. I hope we can spend some time together. We’ve had some times together, haven’t we?

someday or some day

Someday we’ll have a picnic in our backyard. We did it once before, some day in July, I think.

maybe or may be

Maybe it’s not a good idea to drive the car on icy roads like this.

It may be that you’re a good driver, but that may not be enough.