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Friday, August 3, 2012

Words in English that are often confused

Here you are a list with some usual words, in English, that use to be confused. It's very helpful for all of us to read this list, but also interesting, because we see how some different groups of letters are pronounced in the same way.


  • accept verb: Please accept this gift.
except preposition: every day except Friday.

  • advice noun: He always gives good advice.
advise verb: I wouldn't advise doing that.

  • affect verb: Tiredness affects concentration.
effect noun: the beneficial effects of eating fruit

  • allude verb: She alluded to the complains we'd received.
elude verb: His name eludes me.

  • alter verb: His tone altered suddenly.
altar noun: standing at the altar

  • ascent noun: the first ascent of Everest
assent noun, verb: The king gave his assent. --- He assented.

  • broach verb: She didn't dare broach the subject.
brooch noun: a gold brooch

  • cereal noun: breakfast cereal
serial noun, adjective: a TV serial --- serial killer

  • cite verb: He cited several examples.  
sight noun, verb: His sight is failing. --- He was sighted in a bar.
site noun, verb: the site of a battle --- It will be sited near shops.

  • coarse adjective: coarse cloath
course noun, verb: the course of the river --- Tears coursed down her cheeks.

  • compliment noun, verb: My compliments to the chef. --- He complimented her on her taste.  
complement noun, verb: our full complement of staff --- wine to complement your meal

  • council noun: the local council  --- a council of war
counsel verb, noun: He counselled against war. --- It was wise counsel.

  • currant noun: sultanas, currants and other dried fruits
current adjective, noun: current affairs --- ocean currents

  • dependent adjective: We're dependent on food aid.
dependant noun: Have you any children or other dependants?

  • desert noun, verb: the Gobi desert --- He had deserted his post.
dessert noun: What's for dessert?

  • device noun: a device for slicing vegetables finely
devise verb: We've devised a cunning plan.

  • draft noun, verb: my first draft --- He's drafting his reply.
draught noun: a cold draught

  • dual adjective: He has dual nationality.
duel noun: They fought a duel.

  • dying verb: The weakest are dying first.  
dyeing verb: Have you been dyeing your hair?

  • flair noun: a flair for design   
flare noun, verb: a distress flare --- His nostrils flared.  

  • its adjective: Her cat had hurt its paw.   
it's short form: It's a lovely day. --- It's been fun.

  • licence noun: a driving licence   
license verb: licensed to drive heavy goods vehicles  

  • lightning noun: thunder and lightning
lightening verb: We're lightening the colour scheme.

  • loose adjective, adverb: a loose tooth ---  The dogs were running loose.
lose verb: Careful you don't lose your ring.

  • miner noun: a coal miner   
minor adjective, noun: a minor problem --- a 14-year-old minor

  • practice noun: a common practice   
practise verb: You should practise more.

  • precede verb: as summer preceded autumn 
proceed verb: Let's proceed with the meeting.

  • principal noun, adjective: the school principal --- the principal reason
principle noun: It's against my principles.

  • prophecy noun: a prophecy of doom 
prophesy verb: It was prophesied that he would be great.

  • stationary adjective: a stationary vehicle   
stationery noun: office stationery

  • their adjective: It's not their fault. 
there adverb: There's nothing you can do.
they're short form: They're very interesting stories.

If you need dictionary definitions for any word written above, just ask for it in comments. If you want to add other confused words, feel free to add a comment. Otherwise, just give a '+1' to my article!