Watch Out for Maybe/If Words

Maybe/If words are those words that you often second guess in your writing.

These words often sound similar, are spelled similarly or have analogous definitions.

When you are lost in the throes of writing your novel, it can be easy to overlook your use of affect instead of effect.

Unfortunately, these mistakes lower the integrity of your manuscript and can hinder you from building rapport with your readers (or sometimes even lessen your chances of publication).

Below is a list of common maybe/if words that you should keep in mind as your write and revise your manuscript.

Accept
Except
To agree to receive or do
Not including
Advice
Advise
Recommendations about what to do
To recommend something
Affect
Effect
To change or make a difference to
A result; to bring about a result
All together
Altogether
All in one place, all at once
Completely, on the whole
Bare
Bear
Naked, unclothed
To carry; to put up with
Coarse
Course
Rough
A direction; a school subject; a part of a meal
Disinterested
Uninterested
Impartial
Not Interested
E.g.
I.e.
Latin for “for example”
Latin for “that is”
Empathy

Sympathy
The ability to understand another person’s perspective or feelings
A feeling of sorrow from someone else’s suffering
Ensure
Insure
To make certain that something will happen
To provide compensation if a person dies or property is damaged.
Imply
Infer
To suggest indirectly
To draw a conclusion
Loose
Lose
Not firmly or tightly fixed in place
To be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something)
Pour
Pore
Poor
To flow or cause to flow
A tiny opening; to study something closely
Lacking sufficient money to live
Than
Then
(Used with comparisons)
At that time, or next

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