Common Errors in English Usage: Forceful (adj), Forcible (adj), and Forced (adj)

Here is a worksheet on differentiating the adjectives forceful, forcible, and forced. This is a full-page worksheet with a good deal of supporting text and ten modified cloze exercises.

I confess that when I began using my first copy of William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style, and read Mr. White’s introduction, in which he notes that Strunk “…disliked the word forceful and advised us to use forcible instead…” I wondered why the fuss. Since then, I have developed an affection for both The Elements of Style and the finer points of usage.

Whatever the fuss about forceful and forcible (and forced), the point of these worksheets is to meet the Common Core Standard–i.e. “Standard (L.11-12.1b): Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references, (e.g., Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English UsageGarner’s Modern American Usage) as needed”–on usage, and teach students the nuances of using words.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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