The words "rays," "raise," and "raze" all sound the same. They mean completely different things, though, so you won\u2019t want to mix them up! To learn how to use these words in your writing, check out our guide below.\r\nRays (Plural of "Ray")\r\n"Rays" is the plural of "ray." It is used to refer to beams of light or heat:\r\nThe sun\u2019s UV rays are most intense in the middle of the day. \r\n"Rays" are also a type of flat fish, including manta rays and stingrays:\r\nRays are closely related to skates and sharks. \r\nIn all cases, though, "rays" is a plural noun.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_47477" align="aligncenter" width="547"] Flat, but cute.\r\n(Photo: jermainewill)[\/caption]\r\n\r\nRaise (Lift, Increase, and More)\r\nAs a verb, "raise" has several meanings. These include:\r\n\r\n\tLift or elevate (e.g., The student raised his hand)\r\n\tIncrease (e.g., The government will raise taxes this year)\r\n\tBuild or erect (e.g., The town raised a statue in her honor)\r\n\tCollect (e.g., Raising funds for charity)\r\n\tCause something to exist (e.g., The discovery raises further questions)\r\n\tBring up or grow (e.g., I am raising my three grandchildren) \r\n\r\nThe only use of "raise" that is not a verb relates to the second meaning above. In this case, "raise" is a noun that refers to an increase in salary:\r\nI got a raise today!\r\nIn all other cases, though, "raise" is a verb.\r\nRaze (Destroy)\r\nAnother verb, "raze" means "destroy something completely":\r\nThe village was razed to the ground.\r\nThis is the opposite of "raise" in the sense of "build"! But since "raze" with a "z" only has this one use, you should be able to remember what it means.\r\nSummary: Rays, Raise, or Raze?\r\nTo make sure you use the correct word in your writing, remember:\r\n\r\n\tRays is a plural noun that refers to beams of light\/heat or a type of fish.\r\n\tRaise is almost always a verb, meaning "lift," "increase," "build" or "cause to exist." It can also be a noun meaning "an increase in salary."\r\n\tRaze is a verb that means "destroy something completely."\r\n\r\nIf you struggle with these words, remember that "rays" refers to beams and fish, and that "raze" means "destroy." In all other cases, you can use "raise."\r\nAnd for more help with word choice and spelling, or any other aspect of your writing, why not submit a free 500-word sample for proofreading today?