Common mistake slight (sleight) of hand

Common Mistakes in English Grammar


English grammar can be complex, leading to many common mistakes that people often make in their writing and speaking. In this article, we will address some of these errors and provide examples to help you avoid them in your own communication.

Mistake: Confusing "Slight" and "Sleight"

One common mistake people make is confusing the words "slight" and "sleight." While they may sound similar, they have different meanings and should be used in specific contexts.

Slight (adjective) means small or negligible. It is used to describe something that is not significant or noticeable. For example:

  • She only had a slight headache, so she didn't take any medicine.
  • There was a slight delay in the train schedule, but it was not enough to cause any major inconvenience.

Sleight (noun) refers to skill, especially in performing tricks or illusions. It is often used in the term "sleight of hand," which describes the dexterity and agility required for magic tricks. For example:

  • The magician amazed the audience with his sleight of hand.
  • Learning the art of sleight is essential for mastering card tricks.

As you can see, these two words have distinct meanings and should not be used interchangeably.

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slight (sleight) of hand mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    This is where the slight of hand comes in.

    This is where the sleight of hand comes in.

  • Incorrect:
    At the show, we saw many marvellous slights of hand.

    At the show, we saw many marvellous sleights of hand.

  • Incorrect:
    Slights of hand are a clever trick.

    Sleights of hand are a clever trick.

  • Correct:
    Sleight of hand is also known as prestidigitation.
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