Dakota State University
Madison, SD, USA
The Importance of Communication Skills in Finance
In any field of finance effective and efficient communication is essential; it is as important as the financial skills. Glaring grammar and spelling errors detract strongly from the message intended. Lack of good communication skills can be a serious hindrance to one's career in finance. Therefore courses in finance at DSU emphasize communication skills as well as financial expertise. Communication within the courses on exams, assignments, and reports is expected to be in the proper, Standard English expected in financial circles.
The following list is "official" in the sense that misuse or misspelling of the following words or phrases or the commission of the common errors listed below, as applied to finance, may result in points being lost from the evaluation.
This list will grow. Students should check it frequently.
Students are reminded of the extensive help available through DSU's OWL (On Line Writing Laboratory), which provides on-line assistance with grammar, spelling, and good writing. There are also links to on-line English handbooks at the OWL site.
Abbreviations: adj. adjective adv. adverb n. noun prep. preposition v.t. verb, transitive v.i. verb, instransitive
Commonly Confused Words
Words or Phrases Meanings accept to receive; to agree to except other than, otherwise than, unless
affect, v.t. to influence effect, n. a result (effect, v.t. to bring about, to execute, to cause, e.g., measures to effect [cause] savings)
borrow to receive on loan (temporary) [Not "The bank borrowed him the money." Rather: "He borrowed the money from the bank."] lend to give on loan (temporary) loan ["The bank loaned him the money."]
by, prep. with the use or help of; through buy, v.t. to purchase
capital, n. wealth capital, adj. long-term capitol a building in which legislatures meet company one firm company's belonging to one firm companies more than one firm companies' belonging to more than one firm country one nation country's belonging to one nation countries more than one nation countries' belonging to more than one nation its belonging to "it" it's contraction of "it is" know to regard as true beyond doubt no negative, none, zero
known to be regarded as true beyond doubt none zero, no
lie down to recline, e.g., Now I lie down to rest. lay down, v.i. past tense of to recline, e.g., An hour ago I lay down to rest. lay down, v.t. to place something down, e.g., Now I lay down my briefcase. laid down, v.t. past tense of to place something down, e.g., An hour ago I laid down my briefcase.
lose, v.t. to mislay something, to be unprofitable (lose money) lose, v.i. to be defeated loose, adj. not tight, not strict, e.g., loose lending standards loose, v.t. to release, e.g., let loose a barrage of criticism loss, n. the amount lost, a defeat
of belonging to off not on period one period periods more than one period period's belonging to a "period" periods' belonging to more than one "period" personal pertaining to one person personnel a group of people employed principle a rule principal an amount of money rise, v.i. intransitive verb, a subject acting on its own, e.g., "Interest rates rise during economic expansions." raise, v.t. transitive verb, a subject acting on an object, e.g., "The Fed will raise interest rates." rise, n. an increase in some value raise, n. an increase in salary or wages security a single security security's belonging to one security securities more than one security securities' belonging to more than one security stockholder a single shareholder stockholder's belonging to a single shareholder stockholders more than one shareholder stockholders' belonging to more than one shareholder there not here they're contraction of "they are" their belonging to "them" to a direction, e.g., "to the buyer" too also; or a comparative, e.g., "too much" two the number 2 which the one or ones previously mentioned witch a female who practices sorcery
who's contraction of "who is" or "who has" whose possessive form of who your belonging to "you" you're contraction of "you are" yore time long since past
Commonly Misspelled Words
Words Meanings accept to receive; to consider true [not "accep"]
analyze to perform an analysis, to study in detail assets resources [not "asets" or "assests"] correlate to relate to depreciation an allowance made for a loss in value dividend cash or stock payments to stockholders [not "divident"]
individual separate [not "indivitual"] interest cash payments to bondholders,[not "intrest"] liquidity availability of cash to pay bills
lost negative return [not "losed"]
monetary pertaining to money [not "monitary"] mortgage, n. a pledge of property as collateral for a loan [not "morgage"] paid past tense of "to pay" [not "payed"] portfolio a collection of assets riskiness property of being risky [not "riskyness" or "riskines"] volatile subject to sudden changes
Common Grammar Errors
Error Explanation/Illustration "could of" really "could've" better to use simply "could have" singular/plural as in "The company lost their mismatch president." 'Company' is singular; 'their' is plural. The sentence should read, "The company lost its president."
College of Business & Information Systems
Dakota State University
Madison, SD 57042
Page Manager: Jim Janke
Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update: September 17, 2010