Better than Nothing

Vocabulary | Confusables


Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.


Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Newest All Categories Top Random Courses IPA Challenges Word Games

There is a group of words in English which I will call the *thing words. These words are anything, something, everything, and nothing. If I’ve learned anything about them, I’ve learned that they cause confusion for students, so I thought I ought to make a lesson to tell you everything about them. Everything you want to know about the *thing words is here in this lesson, so if you do nothing else today at least do something about learning these words with this lesson.

Any object can be referred to as a thing.

The *thing words in English are anything, something, everything, and nothing.

​ Everything ​ in this picture is a thing.

​ Nothing ​ literally means ​ no ​ ​ thing ​.

Nothing in this picture looks like an elephant.

You should try to learn ​ something ​ about English every day. You can't learn ​ everything ​ in one go, but even 30 minutes is ​ better ​ ​ than ​ ​ nothing ​.

Students tell me that ​ everything ​ in the Britlish Library is ​ better ​ ​ than ​ ​ anything ​ that they have tried before and that there is always ​ something ​ new to do.

Many students say that there is ​ nothing ​ ​ better ​ ​ than ​ the Britlish Library for improving their English skills.

This might be a short lesson but it is ​ better ​ ​ than ​ ​ nothing ​ and looks at ​ everything ​ a student needs to know about ​ something ​ that confuses many students. I don't know if ​ anything ​ else needs to be said about it.

Is there ​ anything 1​ in the bowl?

No, there is ​ nothing 2​ in the bowl.

Is there ​ anything 1​ in the bottles?

Well, there is ​ something 2​ in one of the bottles but ​ nothing 3​ in the other two.

I'm afraid there's only one of Mary's cakes left and there isn't ​ anything 1​ else to eat.


Oh, well. I guess it's better than ​ nothing 2​ especially as her cakes are like ​ nothing 3​ else.

If you are on a mobile device, or want to open the lesson in a new window, click the button below. The lesson will open in a popup window.

Popup Lesson

Use your study record to set lessons as completed, rate them with a 1-5 star rating, record vocabulary from the lesson for future reference, and take notes about the lesson for future reference.

Not Complete!

You have not completed this lesson yet. To complete it, click the Complete Lesson button.

Complete Lesson Completed Lessons

Lesson Rating

You have not rated this lesson.

Rate This All Ratings

Lesson Vocabulary

You have not created any vocabulary items for this lesson yet.

Add New Vocabulary All Vocabulary

Lesson Notes

You have not created any notes for this lesson yet.

Create Notes All Notes

Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied and the vocabulary you have recorded, or the notes you have made about each class, sign up for a free account today.