Easily Confused Words: Pleas vs. Please

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Pleas is a noun, it’s the plural form of “plea.” A plea is a humbled request for help or mercy.

Please has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, to please means to give someone satisfaction or pleasure in serving him/her.
  • As an adverb, it is used to be courteous with requests of others.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Pleuntje was visiting the US when he got picked up by the police for public intox and indecent exposure for public urination. He made pleas to the judge, “Please your Honor I plead not guilty, I meant no harm. I am not from here. I didn’t know your laws.”  Because it was his first offense, the judge sentenced him to four weeks of community service. 

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