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Checking for Commonly Confused Words

The grammar checker built into Word can check for many different errors that can creep into your prose. One of the things it can check for is words that are commonly misused. For instance, some people often use "your" when they really want the contraction "you're." Word can check for obvious usage errors based on a list of commonly confused words.

The make sure that Word is checking for this type of grammar error in your documents, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Spelling & Grammar tab is selected.
  3. Click on the Settings button. Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Commonly Confused Words check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK twice to close the dialog boxes.

If you want to see a list of the confusing words that the grammar checker checks, then do the following after step 4, above:

  1. Click on the small question mark button in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.
  2. Click on the check box for Commonly Confused Words. Word displays a quick explanation of what the grammar rule checks for.
  3. Click on the >> button in the explanation. Word displays a much lengthier explanation of the options in the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  4. In the explanation are for Commonly Confused Words, click on the >> button. A full list of words appears.
  5. When done, close all the dialog boxes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1426) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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Comments for this tip:

terry sayer    24 Sep 2015, 19:34
Office 2010 needs to upgrade the commonly confused words. They do not know the difference between plural and possessive, for one thing.

The cat needs to drink "IT'S milk" is possessive not plural and correct.

"YOUR candidates" is possessive, YOU'RE stands for YOU ARE AND WOULD BE INCORRECT.

Linda Gonse    30 Mar 2013, 23:01
I was following along until number 4 of the first set of instructions.

I am using Word 2002 and in the Grammar Settings box I do not see Commonly Confused Words.

Am I doing something wrong? Is it listed another way? Does it appear somewhere else?

I was planning to use the tip in our newsletter, so I am hoping for an answer very soon.

Thank you.

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