Easily Confused Words: Form vs. From

Form and from are easily confused words.

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.

Form (pronounced “fohrrmm”) has multiple meanings.

As a noun, it means a document covered in boxes that must be filled out. Forms are used to file taxes, and apply for licenses or registrations. In the pre-internet age, forms were printed on paper. In the post-internet age, many forms are online and much of the information is typed in. The form is then printed out and hand-signed in ink, or

From (pronounced “fruhm”) is a preposition. Prepositions indicate location relationships between two or more nouns.

“From” indicates an origin or starting point for a thing:

  • The flowers are from my uncle.
  • Judy is from Maine.
  • I need a flight from Chicago to Dallas.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Fiona was helping a woman at the post office send a package overseas for the first time:

If you want to send a package overseas, you will have to fill out a customs form. A customs form includes sections for the “to” address, the “from” address, a description of the package’s contents, and its monetary value.






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