ENGLISHTables of Important Words

EXPRESSIONS (PART-2) WHAT & THAT; Room/Space/Seat/Accommodation; FORMER, LATTER & LATER, ETC. 


Here are some of the very important words and expressions that a candidate of any competitive exam should understand to crack an exam with good marks. They will be very useful for the competitive exams of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) or Grade-II DASS Exam of the DSSSB, and other similar exams:

1. Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam Tier-I & Tier-II
2. Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Exam (CHSL) Tier-I
3. SI in Delhi Police and CPO Exam Paper-I & Paper-II
4. Stenographers Exam
5. Grade-II DASS Exam conducted by Delhi Staff Subordinate Services (DSSSB)

List of expressions in this post 

1. What & That 5. Afraid & Frightened 9. In & Within 13. Many & Much
2. Former, Latter & Later 6. Room, Space, Seat & Accommodation 10. Round, Around & About 14. Too-to & So -that
3. Kind of & Kinds of 7. Age & Aged 11. According to 15. Enough
4. During & For 8. In & Into 12. Between & Among 16. Abroad

1. What & That

Use of WHAT and THAT is quite confusing; it’s so hard to choose between WHAT and THAT as they are so similar in meaning. When there is a noun after a clause we use THAT, when there is no noun at the end of a clause we use WHAT; e.g.

a) Did you see the message that she wrote? (MESSAGE is a noun, so our choice will be THAT, not WHAT.)
b) Did you see what she wrote? (SEE is not a noun, so our choice will be WHAT, not THAT.)

NOTE: But if both the clauses are independent clauses we connect them by using THAT, not WHAT. An independent clause is one that can be used alone without being connected by another clause; e.g.

I didn’t know that you play the guitar so well.

(This sentence has two clauses namely I DIDN’T KNOW and YOU PLAY THE GUITAR SO WELL. We see that if we write the clause I DIDN’T KNOW alone it’s making a proper sense; likewise the clause YOU PLAY THE GUITAR SO WELL is also making a proper sense if written alone, so both are independent clauses.  As both are independent clauses you can’t connect them by using WHAT, you’ll have to use THAT rather.)

2. Former, Latter & Later

A) Former/Latter (as adjectives)

We use FORMER or LATTER for two persons/things, not more than two. For the first person/thing we use FORMER and for the second we use LATTER (not LATER). We must use the article THE with both, means say THE FORMER/THE LATTER; e.g.

i) The latter half of the play was more interesting.
ii) Rohan and Rohit are friends, but the former is more intelligent than the latter.
iii) Of these two dresses, I prefer the former.
iv) The former was rejected in favour of the latter.

B) Latter & Later

LATTER is used to tell ORDER and LATER is used for TIME; e.g.

INCORRECT: Reena came latter than Richi.
CORRECT: Reena came later than Richi.

INCORRECT: The later half of the play was more interesting.
CORRECT: The latter half of the play was more interesting.

3. ‘Kind Of’ & ‘Kinds Of’

Words KIND, SORT, and TYPE can be troublesome when they are used with plural nouns and adjectives, all of them are used in a similar way.

A) We use KIND to talk about a class of people or things. KIND is a countable noun. After words like ALL and MANY, THESE, THOSE, we use KINDS, not KIND; e.g.

i) I don’t read this kind of magazine.
ii) There are problems with this kind of explanation.
iii) It will give you an opportunity to meet all kinds of people.
iv) My drawer is filled with many kinds of books.

NOTE: We can also say:

i) I don’t read magazines of this kind.
ii) There are problems with explanations of this kind.

B) After KINDS OF we can use either the plural or singular form of a noun; e.g.

I like most kinds of cars.
= I like most kinds of car.

There are many kinds of phones with us.
= There are many kinds of phone with us.

NOTE: But after KIND OF we use the singular form of a noun (not plural); e.g.

i) I’m not the kind of person to get married.
ii) She makes the same kind of point in another essay.

4. During & For

We use DURING to say when something happens. We use FOR to say how long something continues; e.g.

i) We went to Mumbai during the winter.
ii) It rained during the night for three hours.
iii) The first world war took place during 1914 and 1918.
iv) Dr Jain will be here during Thursday and Friday.
v) I had to stay at hospital for five weeks.
vi) I fell ill for a couple of days, but was fine after that.

5. Afraid & Frightened

A) We use BE AFRAID/FRIGHTENED + TO V1 when we feel fear because we think something bad will happen; e.g.

i) She was afraid to go out in case it rained.
ii) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
iii) Many a victim is afraid to go to the police.
iv) She was frightened to drive a bike lest she should meet with an accident.
v) If you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask. vi) Don’t be afraid to say what you think.

NOTE: We use AFRAID alone after linking verbs such as BE, SEEM, BECOME and FEEL. We don’t use it before a noun. For example, don’t say ‘an afraid boy’. However, you can say ‘a frightened boy‘; e.g.

INCORRECT: He was acting like an afraid kid.
CORRECT: He was acting like a frightened kid.

B) We use ‘BE AFRAID OF + ING FORM’ when we are worried or anxious about something which might happen, we don’t use FRIGHTENED in this meaning; e.g.

i) Most criminals are afraid of being caught.
ii) He says that he is afraid of losing his job.
iii) She was afraid of being late for school.
iv) She’s afraid of being attacked if she walks across the park.

NOTE: In this sense we can also use a THAT CLAUSE after AFRAID; e.g.

i) She was afraid (that) I might be beaten by the parents for being late.
ii) She was afraid (that) he might be upset if she told him.

6. Room, Space, Seat, Accommodation


If there is ROOM somewhere, there is enough empty space there for people or things to be fitted in, or for people to move freely or do what they want to; e.g.

a) That sofa would take up too much room in the flat.
b) He’s fainted! Don’t crowd him – give him room.
c) Is there any room for me in the car?
d) There’s hardly room to move in here.


A particular kind of space is the area that is available for a particular activity or for putting a particular kind of thing in; e.g.

a) You don’t want your living space to look like a bedroom.
b) Finding a parking space in the summer months is still a virtual impossibility.
c) Is there any space for my clothes in that cupboard?
d) The blank space at the end of the form is for your name.


A piece of furniture or part of a train, plane, etc. that has been designed for someone to sit on; e.g.

a) Chairs, sofas and benches are different types of seat.
b) A car usually has a driver’s seat, a  front and back seats.
c) Is this seat free (= is anyone using it)?
d) Could I book two seats for  tomorrow  evening’s performance?


i) Accommodation is used to refer to buildings or rooms where people live or stay; e.g.

a) The government will provide temporary accommodation for up to three thousand people.
b) Prices start at Rs 2,00,000 per person, including flights, hotel accommodation and various excursions.
c) Rates are higher for deluxe accommodations.

ii) Accommodation is space in buildings or vehicles that is available for certain things, people, or activities; e.g.

a) The school occupies split-site accommodation on the main campus.
b) Some trains carry bicycles, but accommodation is restricted so a reservation is essential.

7. Age & Aged

A) After the verb BE, say ‘BE + NUMBER’ or ‘BE + NUMBER + YEARS OLD’; e.g.

Rohit is almost twelve.
= Rohit is almost twelve years old.

INCORRECT: I’m at the age of 22.
CORRECT: I’m 22. OR I’m 22 years old.

NOTE-I: Do not use AGE and YEARS OLD together. The usual way of mentioning someone’s age is BE + NUMBER; e.g. She’ll be sixteen next August.

INCORRECT: His age is about fifty-five years old.
CORRECT: He’s about fifty-five. OR He’s about fifty-five years old.


i) When I was your age, I was already in a sort of job.
ii) Most of my friends are the same age as me.

INCORRECT: Soon you’ll be of my age.
CORRECT: Soon you’ll be my age.

INCORRECT: I think we are at the same age.
CORRECT: I think we are the same age.

B) Phrases with AGE as their main word usually begin with AT (not IN); e.g.

INCORRECT: In the age of 18, you are allowed to drive a car.
CORRECT: At the age of 18, you are allowed to drive a car.

INCORRECT: My father left school at aged fourteen.
CORRECT: My father left school at fourteen. OR My father left school at the age of fourteen.

C) When you mention two ages after a noun, use the following:

Aged + Number + And + Number         or        Number + And + Number + Years of Age

INCORRECT: They have two children in the age of 8 and 12 years.
CORRECT: They have two children aged 8 and 12. OR They have two children, 8 and 12 years of age.

D) When you mention an age range after a noun, use the following:

Aged + Number + to + Number        or        Between the Ages of + Number + And + Number

INCORRECT: These books are for children at the age of from 4 to 6 years.
CORRECT: These books are for children aged 4 to 6. OR These books are for children between the ages of 4 and 6.

8. In & Into

We use IN to show position, whereas we use INTO for movements toward the inside of something; e.g.

a) She was in the house. (static position)
b) She went into the house. (movement)

a) They are sitting in the bus.
b) They climbed into the bus.

a) The pencils are in the box.
b) I’m going to put these pencils into the box

i) She was walking in the garden. Then she walked into the house.
ii) Stop running around and get into bed.
iii) I can’t get into these trousers any more. They’re far too small for me.
iv) They climbed into the truck and drove away.
v) The door opened and a nurse came into the room.
vi) Crack three eggs into a bowl and mix them together.
vii) He thrust his hands into his pockets.

9. In & Within

A) Time

i) IN is used before a noun denoting a period of time referring to AT THE END OF
ii) WITHIN is used before a noun denoting of time referring to BEFORE THE END OF

a) I’ll leave home in two hours. (means after the period of two hours has ended)
b) I’ll leave home within two hours. (means before the period of two hours has ended)
c) I’ve booked train tickets on the Internet. They should arrive within three days. (means no later than three days from now)
d) I’ve noticed her change within a very short time.

B) Space

WITHIN = not further than a particular area or space. WITHIN does not mean the same as IN. Within stresses that something is not further than a particular area or space; e.g.

a) People who live within the city pay higher local taxes than people who live just outside the city. (= the people who live no further than the city boundary or limits)

b) We’ve always lived within ten miles of the coast. We love the sea. (We’ve always lived no further than ten miles from the coast.)

INCORRECT: Your shirt is within the drawer.
CORRECT: Your shirt is in the drawer.

10. Round, Around, About

A) When we talk about a movement in many different directions (from one place to another), we can use any of AROUND, ROUND and ABOUT; e.g.

We spent a very pleasant day walking around the village.
= We spent a very pleasant day walking round the village.
= We spent a very pleasant day walking about the village.

B) When a movement is in circles or when one thing surrounds another we can use either of AROUND and ROUND (not ABOUT); e.g.

The earth moves around the sun.
= The earth moves round the sun.

She had a towel wrapped around his head.
= She had a towel wrapped round his head.

C) When we talk about something being generally present or available, we use either of AROUND and ABOUT (not ROUND); e.g.

We have a lot of good football players around at the moment.
= We have a lot of good football players about at the moment.

11. According to

ACCORDING TO means ‘as reported by’ or ‘as stated by’. We only use ACCORDING TO when we refer to an opinion from someone else. When we talk about our own opinion, we use phrases such as ‘in my opinion’ or ‘in our view’ etc. e.g.

i) According to Anuj, the film starts at 9.30.
ii) According to the instructions, you must not write your name anywhere on the answer sheet.
iii) The government, according to an opinion poll taken last week, may lose the election.

INCORRECT: According to me they are very polite.
CORRECT: In my opinion, they are very polite.

12. Between & Among

A) We use BETWEEN for two things which are clearly separated. We use AMONG for things which are not clearly separated because they are part of a group or crowd or mass of objects. AMONG and AMONGST are the same thing; e.g.

i) Our house is between the park and the market. (the park is on one side and the market on the other, means clearly separated)
ii) The hut was hidden among the trees. (surrounded by trees, means not clearly separated)

NOTE-I: However if we see things individually/separately we use BETWEEN even when the number of people/things is more than two; e.g.

i) Switzerland lies between France, Germany, America and Italy. [More than two things, but you can’t use AMONG here as all these four countries are being seen individually; not as a part of group.]
ii) He stood among all his friends in the room. [You can’t use BETWEEN here as FRIENDS are not being seen individually.]
iii) There is a treaty between these four countries.

NOTE-II: We do not use AMONG even if the number of people/things is more than two, when the preceding verb/noun/adjective requires a different preposition. In such a case we use that preposition (not AMONG); e.g.

INCORRECT: There is much fear among the children.
CORRECT: There is much fear in the children.

INCORRECT: He is very popular among the people of Delhi.
CORRECT: He is very popular with the people of Delhi.

NOTE-III: To introduce a prepositional phrase which contains two singular or plural noun phrases, we use BETWEEN (not AMONG) even when the number of people/things is more than two; e.g.

I didn’t see any difference between the real rings and the artificial rings.

B) To talk about something done to, or done by a group/groups of people/things, we use either BETWEEN or AMONG, e.g.

The money is to be divided between the towns in the area.
= The money is to be divided among the towns in the area.

The prize will be shared between the first six finishers in the race.
= The prize will be shared among the first six finishers in the race.

NOTE: But, when we specify the individual members of the group using singular nouns we use BETWEEN; not AMONG; e.g.

The money is to be divided between Ram, Mohan and Sohan. (You can’t use AMONG here.)

13. Many & Much

A) MANY is used for plural countable nouns and MUCH is used for uncountable nouns.

i) I have many books.
ii) I don’t have much money.
iii) Is this going to make much difference?
iv) I haven’t had much sleep.

NOTE-I: You don’t usually use MUCH as an object pronoun in positive sentences. Instead you use VERY MUCH; e.g.

INCORRECT: I learn much from him.
CORRECT: I learn very much from him.


MANY A’ is used with a singular noun and a singular verb to mean A LARGE NUMBER OF; e.g.

Many a good student has passed the exam.
= Many students have passed the exam.


We use MUCH TOO before adjectives, we don’t use it before nouns. Before nouns we use TOO MUCH or TOO MANY. We use MUCH TOO in front of an unpleasant adjective to say that something cannot be done or achieved because someone or something has too much of a quality; e.g.

INCORRECT: Madhu is too much rude.
CORRECT: Madhu is much too rude. (RUDE is an adjective.)

INCORRECT: I’m feeling much too pain in my leg.
CORRECT: I’m feeling too much pain in my leg. (PAIN is a noun.)

NOTE: In sentences like these you put MUCH in front of TOO, not after it. So, it’s wrong to say: The bags are too much heavy.

14. ‘Too – To’ and ‘So – That’

‘TOO — TO’ is used when the meaning of the sentence is negative. ‘TOO – TO’ construction can be changed into the ‘SO – THAT’ construction. In this construction we use SO with the adjective/adverb and after it we use THAT-CLAUSE. In the THAT-CLAUSE the verb is always negative; e.g.

She is too weak to climb a tree.
= She is so weak that she cannot climb a tree.

He spoke too quickly to be understood.
= He spoke so quickly that it couldn’t be understood.

NOTE-I: If the subject of TO-V1 is different from the first subject it is generally mentioned before TO-V1 or TO-V1 is converted into the passive voice [see sentence (ii) just above].

NOTE-II: For positive contexts we use VERY – TO, not TOO — TO; e.g.

INCORRECT: She is too happy to meet me.
CORRECT: She is very happy to meet me.

NOTE-III: TOO is not normally used before adjective + noun.

INCORRECT: She doesn’t like too short men.
CORRECT: She doesn’t like men who are too short.

INCORRECT: I couldn’t solve the too difficult problem.
CORRECT: I couldn’t solve the problem – it was too difficult.

15. Enough

We use ENOUGH to mean ‘as much as we need or want’ or ‘more than is wanted’.
As adjective you can use ENOUGH in front of a noun, not after. If the noun is countable, it must be in the plural. As adverb you use ENOUGH after an adjective or adverb, not before; e.g.

i) There aren’t enough bedrooms for the family here in this house. (adjective)
ii) I haven’t had enough exercise yet. (adjective)
iii) This room is big enough for her. (adverb)
iv) We have a long enough list for sending invitations. (adverb)

INCORRECT: Is this box enough big for all those books?
CORRECT: Is this box big enough for all those books?

NOTE-I: The degree of the adjective/adverb must be positive (not COMPARATIVE or SUPERLATIVE); e.g.

INCORRECT: This room is bigger/biggest enough for her.
CORRECT: This room is big enough for her.

NOTE-II: Don’t use ENOUGH, or ‘ENOUGH + NOUN’, as the subject of a negative sentence, you use NOT ENOUGH; e.g.

INCORRECT: Enough people didn’t come.
CORRECT: Not enough people came.

NOTE-III: We don’t use ENOUGH immediately before a noun phrase beginning with an adjective (the, my, etc), or before a pronoun (us, them, etc). Instead we use ENOUGH OF; e.g.

INCORRECT: You haven’t eaten enough your dinner, Ranjan.
CORRECT: You haven’t eaten enough of your dinner, Ranjan.

INCORRECT: There weren’t enough them.
CORRECT: There weren’t enough of them.

NOTE-IV: We don’t use a THAT-CLAUSE after ENOUGH when we say what is needed for something to be possible; e.g.

INCORRECT: She is intelligent enough that she can solve this question.
CORRECT: She is intelligent enough to solve this question.

16. Abroad

We do not use any preposition like TO, AT, IN, ETC. before ABROAD; e.g.

INCORRECT: Since my childhood, I’ve always wanted to go to abroad.
CORRECT: Since my childhood, I’ve always wanted to go abroad.

INCORRECT: I would like to continue my studies in abroad.
CORRECT: I would like to continue my studies abroad.

NOTE: The only preposition that is used before ABROAD is FROM; e.g. She came back from abroad last Sunday.

For more chapters/topics on English Grammar read the following book authored by me.

Link for buying the above book


For English Practice Sets on various topics read the following book authored by me.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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