Common mistake baited (bated) breath

Common English Mistakes: Baited Breath

One of the most common mistakes people make in the English language is the incorrect use of the phrase "baited breath". The correct term is actually "bated breath".

The Meaning Behind the Phrase

When someone uses the phrase "bated breath", it means that they are waiting in anticipation or excitement for something to happen. The word "bated" is an abbreviation of "abated", which means to reduce or lessen. Therefore, when someone is waiting with "bated breath", they are holding their breath or suppressing it due to excitement or tension.

The Incorrect Use of "Baited Breath"

Although the phrase "baited breath" may sound similar, it is incorrect in this context. The word "baited" refers to luring or setting a trap, usually in the context of fishing or hunting. Using "baited breath" instead of "bated breath" would imply that someone is waiting with a breath intended to lure or trap something, which is not the intended meaning.

Examples of Correct Usage

  • I waited for the test results with bated breath.
  • The audience held their breaths in bated anticipation as the magician prepared for his grand finale.

Linguix Grammar Checker

Linguix Grammar Checker is a powerful tool that can help you avoid common English mistakes like using "baited breath" when "bated breath" is the correct phrase. By using Linguix, you can improve your writing and ensure that your grammar and vocabulary are accurate.

baited (bated) breath mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    We are waiting with baited breath.

    We are waiting with bated breath.

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