Learn to Write English Clearly and Correctly

Set 1 - Lesson 24

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Lesson 24: Words That Are Often Confused: RISE, RAISE - LET, LEAVE, etc.

 RISE is intransitive and will not have a direct object.  The subject simply does the action on its own.  RAISE is a transitive verb and must have a direct object. 

rise rising rose risen The sun rose at 5:45.
raise raising raised raised My uncle raised tobacco on his farm.

The following words will only receive a brief comment: STATIONERY - STATIONARY.

Dorothy received a box of fancy stationery as a graduation present.

It seemed as if the traffic had been stationary for an hour on the crowded city street.

How can you remember which is which?  Paper ends with -ER and STATIONERY ends with -ERY.

A word that we have heard misused many times and one that really irritates us is MEMENTO.  We have heard radio newscasters, television personalities and people on the street say MOMENTO when they mean MEMENTO.  What is the difference?

Got it?

Another frequently misused word is IRREGARDLESS.  Probably 99% of the time this word is used, the speaker actually means REGARDLESS.

Two verbs that are often misused are LET and LEAVE.  It is important to know the meaning of each so you can use them correctly.

Let: I let, he lets, we let yesterday, they are letting, you have let.

Leave: I leave, he leaves, we left yesterday, they are leaving, you have left.

LET to permit to ; "Mother will let me go to the movies if I do my chores."  "I let my little brother ride my bicycle sometimes."
LEAVE to depart, to go away, to cease to reside in a certain place, to allow to remain by an oversight ("He left his hat on the train."); to cause to remain as a consequence ("The wound left a scar."); to cause or allow something or someone to continue in a certain way or condition or activity ("We left him painting the gate." "They left the gate open.")


1. When I told my boss my goldfish was sick, he let me leave work early.

2. "Let me help you cross the street," the Boy Scout said to the little old lady.

3. We left the house at 6:00 in the morning in order to get to school on time.

4. Mrs. Jones always leaves a funny note in her husband's lunch box.

5. The exciting play had left the heroes riding in a run-away boat towards a waterfall.

6. Mr. Carson had let his children stay up too late the night before.


Exercise A: Circle the correct word inside the parentheses (  ) in the following sentences.

1. Harry was told to (raise) (rise) the flag before school.

2. When Mrs. Brown opened the last packet of letter-head paper, she called in an order for office (stationary) (stationery).

3. Melissa left work early, (regardless) (irregardless) of her boss's orders.

4. Many teenagers keep the ticket stubs from a concert as a (momento) (memento) of the event.

5. The hunters remained (stationery) (stationary) as the deer stepped into the field.

6. I hoped that my mother would (let) (leave) me go to the concert.

7. Before you go out, (let) (leave) the extra door key on the hall table.

Exercise B:  Cross out the incorrect words in the following sentences.  Write the correct word above the wrong one.

1. Julia's only momento of the trip to the beach was a broken shell.

2. The horse lay in his stall all day yesterday swishing flies with his tail.

3. The policeman told Gino to lay his gun on the ground.

4. Irregardless of the coming storm, the Boy Scouts rose their tents so they could lay in them when it rained.

5. Mark had planned to write to his girlfriend, but he had forgotten to buy stationary.

6. The stew had laid in the refrigerator so long that white fuzzy stuff was growing on it.

7. We lay on our backs watching the balloons  raise into the sky.

8. Regardless of the difficulties it would cause, Frank took the ashtray that was laying on the counter as a memento.

9. Marie knew she was a stationery target for the mosquitoes that were rising from the pond.

10. The tropical fish I raised rose from the bottom of the aquarium to gobble the food that lay on the water.

Examination:  Choose the correct word from the pair in  parentheses and write the correct form of that word on the line in the sentence.

1.  (let, leave)  The worker _______________ the new kitchen floor tiles out on the patio.

2. (let, leave)  Dad ____________ me try on the old Army jacket that had lain in the trunk in the attic for many years.

3. (memento, momentous) My wedding day was one of the most ___________________ days of my life.

4. (raise, rise)  Anna and her sister have _____________ geese for the county fair each year.

5. (regardless, irregardless)  Nick was going to fill his gas tank ___________________ of the high prices.

6. (stationery, stationary)  After standing in the checkout line for an hour, Sarah finally paid for her _______________.

7. (rise, raise)  Arnold watched as the bubbles _______________ from his diving mask.

8. (let, leave)  The mother wolf ______________ the dead rabbit in front of her cubs.

9. (memento, momento)  Linda's favorite _______________ from the Senior Prom is the corsage her date had given her.

10. (raise, rise)  The pilot said we would take off after the fog had _______________ from the runway.

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