Common mistake on the look out (lookout)

One common mistake that we often come across is the incorrect use of the phrase "on the look out" instead of "on the lookout." Although these two phrases may seem similar, they have different meanings and usage.

The Correct Phrase: "On the Lookout"

When we say "on the lookout," we mean to be alert or watchful for something. It implies being vigilant or observant in order to notice any signs or indications of a particular thing or situation. For example:

  • Incorrect: We should be on the look out for any suspicious activities.
  • Correct: We should be on the lookout for any suspicious activities.

As you can see, the correct usage is "on the lookout," not "on the look out."

Understanding the Mistake: "On the Look Out"

The common mistake of using "on the look out" likely stems from the individual words "look" and "out" being frequently used together in different contexts, such as "look out the window" or "look out for each other." However, when used in the idiom "on the lookout," the phrase becomes a single word, "lookout," which acts as a noun.

Using the Correct Idiomatic Phrases

There are a few other idiomatic phrases that are often mistaken due to their similar-sounding parts. Here are a few examples of commonly mixed up phrases:

  • Wrong: Take it for granite.
  • Correct: Take it for granted.
  • Wrong: Nip it in the butt.
  • Correct: Nip it in the bud.

Remember, these idiomatic expressions have specific meanings and uses. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the correct versions in order to communicate effectively.

Lastly, if you want to avoid making spelling and grammar mistakes like these, you can use Linguix grammar checker. It is an invaluable tool that can help you catch errors and improve the overall quality of your writing.

on the look out (lookout) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    She is on the look out for cheap clothes.

    She is on the lookout for cheap clothes.

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