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Confuse Words

Homonyms (sound like but are different)

Ensure that you save this for reference when writing resumes or essays etc.

 

Most of the Examination papers in English contain a question on the use of words of similar sound but different in meaning. The question usually takes a form something like the following:

Use these words in sentences to show that you know their meanings:
aisle     diary    principal          stationary         compliment

isle       dairy    principle          stationery         complement

A comprehensive list of these words is found in most good spelling books and it is not intended to repeat these here.

It is, however, important for the student to remember that when he is asked to use these words in sentences in order to illustrate their meaning, his sentences should be explicit enough as to leave no doubt in the examiner's mind that the writer knows the exact meaning of the words which he is using.

Take for example the words stationary, stationery. When used in the following sentences the meaning is not fully brought out.

(a) The bus is stationary, (b) I bought some stationery at the store.

Sentences (c) and (d) however, leave no doubt in the reader's mind that the writer is fully acquainted with the meaning of the words:

Wait until the bus is stationary before attempting to get off.

I will need a good deal of stationery to write all these letters.

Note also that it is a good plan to underline the significant word in the sentence.

 

See also Words

 (These are some of the pairs of words that are most often confused with each other.)

DO NOT CONFUSE

adoptive with adopted:
children are adopted,
but parents are adoptive.
adverse, with averse, adverse, `unfavourable, bad', with averse, which means `strongly disliking or opposed to', as in I am not averse to helping out.
affect and effect: affect means `make a difference to', whereas effect means `a result' or `bring about (a result)'.
ambiguous with ambivalent: ambiguous primarily means `having more than one meaning, open to different interpretations', while ambivalent means `having mixed feelings'.
amoral with immoral: amoral means `not concerned with morality', while immoral means `not conforming to accepted standards of morality'.
appraise with apprise appraise means `assess', while apprise means `inform'.
apposite with opposite

apposite is suitable for or appropriate to what is happening or being discussed.

Opposite: situated on the other or further side when seen from a specified or implicit viewpoint
augur with auger augur`be a sign of (a likely outcome)', with auger (a tool used for boring).
censure with censor: censure means `express strong disapproval of', whereas censor means `suppress unacceptable parts of (a book, film, etc.)'.
climactic, with climatic climactic, `forming a climax', with climatic, which means `relating to climate'.
complacent, with complaisant complacent, `smug and self-satisfied', with complaisant, which means `willing to please'.
complement, with compliment complement, `a thing that enhances something by contributing extra features', with compliment, which means `an expression of praise' or `politely congratulate'.
continuous and continual: with continuous continuous primarily means `without interruption', and can refer to space as well as time, as in the cliffs form a continuous line along the coast; continual, on the other hand, typically means `happening frequently, with intervals between', as in the bus service has been disrupted by continual breakdowns.
council with counsel council, an administrative or advisory body, with counsel, advice or guidance.
councillor with counsellor a councillor is a member of a council, whereas a counsellor is someone who gives guidance on personal or psychological problems.
credible with creditable credible means `believable, convincing', whereas creditable means `deserving acknowledgement and praise'.
definite with definitive definite (`certain, sure') with definitive, which means `decisive and with authority'.
defuse with diffuse defuse, `remove the fuse from (an explosive device)' or `reduce the danger or tension in (a difficult situation)', with diffuse, which means `spread over a wide area'.
desert with dessert desert (a waterless area) with dessert (the sweet course)!
discreet with discrete discreet, `careful not to attract attention or give offence', with discrete, which means `separate, distinct'.
draft with draught draft and draught. In British English draft means `a preliminary version' or `an order to pay a sum', whereas a draught is a current of air or an act of drinking; in North American English the spelling draft is used for all senses. The verb is usually spelled draft.
draw with drawer draw, which is primarily a verb, with drawer meaning `sliding storage compartment'.
egoism with egotism egoism and egotism: it is egotism, not egoism, that means `excessive conceit or self-absorption'; egoism is a less common and more technical word, for an ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.
envelop with envelope envelop without an e at the end means `wrap up, cover, or surround completely', whereas an envelope with an e is a paper container used to enclose a letter or document.
exceptionable with exceptional exceptionable (`open to objection; causing disapproval or offence') with exceptional (`not typical' or `unusually good').
fawn with faun a fawn is a young deer, and a light brown colour; a faun is a Roman deity that is part man, part goat.
flaunt with flout flaunt means `display ostentatiously', while flout means `openly disregard (a rule)'.
flounder with founder flounder generally means `have trouble doing or understanding something, be confused', while founder means `fail or come to nothing'.
forego with forgo forego means `precede', but is also a less common spelling for forgo, `go without`.
grisly with grizzly grisly with grizzly, as in grizzly bear: whereas grizzly is from the same root as grizzled and refers to the bear's white-tipped fur. grisly means `causing horror or revulsion',
hoard with horde a hoard is a store of something valuable; horde is a disparaging term for a large group of people.
imply with infer Imply is used with a speaker as its subject, as in he implied that the General was a traitor, and indicates that the speaker is suggesting something though not making an explicit statement. Infer is used in sentences such as we inferred from his words that the General was a traitor, and indicates that something in the speaker's words enabled the listeners to deduce that the man was a traitor.
the possessive its with the contraction it's the possessive its (as in turn the camera on its side) with the contraction it's (short for either it is or it has, as in it's my fault; it's been a hot day).
loath with loathe loath (`reluctant; unwilling') with loathe, `dislike greatly'.
loose with lose loose with lose: as a verb loose means `unfasten or set free', while lose means `cease to have' or `become unable to find'.
luxuriant with luxurious luxuriant, `rich and profuse in growth', with luxurious, which means `characterized by luxury; very comfortable and extravagant'.
marital with martial marital, `of marriage', with martial, `of war'!
militate with mitigate militate, which is used in the form militate against to mean `be an important factor in preventing', with mitigate, which means `make (something bad) less severe'.
naturism with naturalism naturism (nudism) and naturist (a nudist) with naturalism and naturalist: naturalism is an artistic or literary approach or style; a naturalist is an expert in natural history, or an exponent of naturalism.
officious with official officious, `asserting authority or interfering in an annoyingly domineering way', with official, which means `relating to an authority or public body' and `having the approval or authorization of such a body'.
ordinance with ordnance ordinance, `an authoritative order', with ordnance, which means `guns' or `munitions'.
palate with palette palate and palette: the palate is the roof of the mouth; a palette, on the other hand, is an artist's board for mixing colours.
pedal with peddle pedal and peddle. Pedal is a noun denoting a foot-operated lever; as a verb it means `move by means of pedals'. Peddle is a verb meaning `sell (goods)'. The associated noun from pedal is pedaller (US pedaler), and the noun from peddle is pedlar or peddler.
perquisite with prerequisite perquisite and prerequisite: a perquisite is a special right or privilege enjoyed as a result of one's position; prerequisite is something that is required as a prior condition for something else; prerequisite can also be an adjective, meaning `required as a prior condition'.
perspicuous with perspicacious perspicuous, `expressing things clearly', with perspicacious, which means `having a ready understanding of things'.
principal with principle principal, `first in order of importance; main', with principle, which is a noun meaning chiefly `a basis of a system of thought or belief'.
proscribe with prescribe proscribe with prescribe: proscribe is a rather formal word meaning `condemn or forbid', whereas prescribe means either `issue a medical prescription' or `recommend with authority'.
regretful with regrettable regretful, `feeling or showing regret', with regrettable, which means `giving rise to regret; undesirable'.
shear with sheer shear, `cut the wool off (a sheep)', with sheer, which as a verb means `swerve or change course quickly' or `avoid an unpleasant topic', and as an adjective means `nothing but; absolute', `perpendicular', or `(of a fabric) very thin'.
stationary with stationery stationary and stationery: stationary is an adjective with the sense `not moving or changing', whereas stationery is a noun meaning `paper and other writing materials'.
story with storey story and storey: a story is a tale or account, while a storey is a floor of a building.In North America the spelling story is sometimes used for storey.
titillate with titivate titillate and titivate: titillate means `excite', whereas titivate means `adorn or smarten up'.
tortuous with torturous tortuous, `full of twists and turns' or `excessively lengthy and complex', with torturous, which means `characterized by pain or suffering'.
turbid with turgid turbid and turgid: turbid is generally used in reference to a liquid and means `cloudy or opaque'; turgid tends to mean `tediously pompous' or, in reference to a river, `swollen, overflowing'.
unexceptionable with unexceptional unexceptionable, `that cannot be taken exception to, inoffensive', with unexceptional, `not exceptional; ordinary'.
unsociable with unsocial and antisocial unsociable with unsocial and antisocial: unsociable means `not enjoying the company of or engaging in activities with others'; unsocial usually means `socially inconvenient' and typically refers to the hours of work of a job; antisocial means `contrary to accepted social customs and therefore annoying'.
venal with venial venal (`susceptible to bribery; corruptible') with venial, which is used in Christian theology in reference to sin (a venial sin, unlike a mortal sin, is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace).
who's with whose who's with whose; who's is a contraction of who is or who has, while whose is used in questions such as whose is this? and whose turn is it?
wreath with wreath wreath and wreathe: wreath with no e at the end means `arrangement of flowers', while wreathe with an e is a verb meaning `envelop, surround, or encircle'.
your with you're your with you're; you're is a contraction of you are, while your is a possessive determiner used in phrases such as your turn.
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Homonyms

Altar

Alter

Ant

Aunt

Arc

Ark

Ate

Eight

Auger

Augur

Aural

Oral

Baize

Bays

Bald

Bawled

Ball

Bawl

Band

Banned

Bard

Barred

Bare

Bear

Baron

Barren

Be

Bee

Beach

Beech

Bean

Been

Beer

Bier

Berry

Bury

Berth

Birth

Billed

Build

Blue

Blew

Bored

Board

Braid

Brayed

Break

Brake

Brews

Bruise

Bridal

Bridle

Broach

Brooch

Buy

By/ Bye

Capital

Capitol

Cellar

Seller

Census

Sense

Cereal

Serial

Chili

Chilly

Choral

Coral

Cite

Sight / Site

Coarse

Course

Complement

Compliment

Coun

Counsel

Deer

Dear

Die

Dye

Discreet

Discrete

Doe

Dough

Done

Dun

Draft

Draught

Dual

Duel

Earn

Urn

Ewe

You

Farther

Father

Faze

Phase

File

Phial

Find

Fined

Fir

Fur

Flaw

Floor

Flea

Flee

Flew

Flu/ Flue

Flex

Flecks

Flour

Flower

For

Four

Foreword

Forward

Fort

Fought

Foul

Fowl

Gait

Gate

Gamble

Gambol

Genes

Jeans

Gored

Gourd

Great

Grate

Groan

Grown

Hart

Heart

Hear

Here

Heel

Heal

Hi

High

Him

Hymn

Hoard

Horde

Hole

Whole

Holy

Wholly

Hour

Our

I

Eye

Idle

Idol

Incite

Insight

Knead

Need

Knew

New

Knight

Night

Knot

Not

Know

No

Leak

Leek

Lessen

Lesson

Levee

Levy

Links

Lynx

Loan

Lone

Loot

Lute

Made

Maid

Mail

Male

Main

Mane

Manna

Manner

Marshal

Martial

Mask

Masque

Maw

More

Medal

Meddle

Meet

Meat

Might

Mite

Mist

Missed

Moose

Mousse

Muscle

Mussel

None

Nun

Oar

Or

Overdo

Overdue

Pail

Pale

Pain

Pane

Pair

Pear

Passed

Past

Peace

Piece

Peak

Peek

Pedal

Peddle

Plane

Plain

Principal

Principle

Profit

Prophet

Rain

Reign

Red

Read

Right

Write

Ring

Wring

Rode

Road

Role

Roll

Rouse

Rows

Rung

Wrung

Sail

Sale

Sauce

Seen

Scull

Skull

See

Sea

Shoe

Shoo

Side

Sighed

Slay

Sleigh

Soar

Sore

Sole

Soul

Some

Sum

Sort  

Sought

Staid

Stayed

Stalk

Stork

Stare

Stair

Stationary

Stationery

Steal

Steel

Stile

Style

Sun

Son

Tail

Tale

Team

Teem

Than

Then

Their

There

Throne

Thrown

Tide

Tied

To

Too / Two

Toe

Tow

Vain

Vein

Vary

Very

Wail

Whale

Waste

Waist

Way

Weigh

Weak

Week

Weather  

Whether

Where

Wear

Which

Witch

Who’s

Whose

Won

One

Would

Wood

You're

Your

 

p

 

resources

Explanation for Student Compendium
File Includes
A shortened form of a word or phrase.
ANU - Australian National University
An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from the first letter (or first few letters) of each word in a phrase or title. Sometimes, the newly combined letters create a new word that becomes a part of everyday language. An example of this is the acronym radar. Also includes Mnemonics
a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical. Adjectives are words that describe or modify other words * Priest = Sacerdotal

Types of animals, Sounds the make, Where do they live, Collective names of animals

Apes - gibber, Camel live in Australia, Sahara & Arabia, names = Bull - is called a heifer

a word opposite in meaning to another (e.g. bad - good ).

Opposites = Absent - present

Big_Words for small
Small word with big word alternative
Anger - Dudgeon * bold - Audacious

A feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify them

A partner in crime - accomplice

Words pertaining to the church

A passage between the pews in a church - Aisle

Similar sounding words with different meanings also Homonyms

Council, an administrative or advisory body, do not confuse with counsel, advice or guidance.

All about communication see also A History of Communication
All computer terms (ASCII, Binary, Unicode)

Names given to certain towns or countries includes facts about climate

Aberdeen - The Granite City The Torrid Zone has the hottest climate Zinc - Mexico, U.S.A., Spain

Words pertaining to death

Occurring after death - posthumous

A diminutive person is short and small. A diminutive wordis a "cute" version of a word or name: for example, "duckling" is a diminutive of "duck" and Billy is a diminutive form of the name William

Cask - casket   

Famous world discoveries of countries continents, includes Australian discoverers

Matthew Flinders -discovered Bass Strait. * Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts in 1908

Explanation of a word, words in literal expressions denote what they mean according to common or dictionary usage

Aloof -To keep to oneself and not mix with others.

Gender list of male female

Actor - Actress

Countries of the world and Geographical facts

The Circumference of the earth is approxinmately 24,800 miles.

List of gods and goddesses

War - Mars

Australian and UK government with words denoting government

Australian Government

Explains grammar syntax and verbs adjectives nouns etc.

Explains various uses of nouns verbs etc.

The art of living together includes senses, elements, cardinal numbers, cardinal virtues

THE ART OF LIVING - Consideration for the feelings of others

Alphabetical list of the most important inventions

Clock (pendulum) - Christian Huygens

List of kings and queens of Britain with facts and information

EGBERT 827 - 839

Practical list of  words explained in a sentence or phrase

A book in which the events of each day are recorded - Diary

Words pertaining to marriage included anniversary gifts

A hater of marriage - misogamist

Medical terms in use today

A disease confined to a particular district or place - endemic

Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated

Sounds that things make, description of various venues or habitats, special calendar dates, Aussie slang words, Mnemonics

All Fools' Day - 1st April - Aussie slang - sounds that things make etc.

Names of persons or things, occupations, and a description of word meanings i.e. Terrestrial = Earth

Various names explained Bird of night - Owl

Words connected to nature

A four-footed animal - quadruped

a word or statement that expresses denial, disagreement, or refusal

That which cannot be pierced or penetrated - impenetrable

Explanation of nouns, COMMON Nouns, PROPER Nouns, COLLECTIVE  Nouns and ABSTRACT Nouns.

sit - seat (when to use Nouns)

Numbers of animals things i.e. A number of Cattle = herd

A number of fish taken in a net - catch, haul

a person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else.

Unable to read - il-literate

Special days, Aussies slang and any other items not covered in this list

Any other items that might be of interest

List of Patron Saints

St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland

Noctiphobia - Fear of the night

A list of places A place where bees are kept = apiary

A place where fishes are kept - aquarium

The case which is used to show possession is called the possessive case or genitive case. In case of nouns, an apostrophe is used to show it.

Is the case which denotes the owner or possessor

All Prefixes

List of various professions

The commander of a fleet - Admiral

Famous proverbs A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

A bad beginning makes a good ending.

Serious Quotes and some Witty funny one liners

Someone has glued my pack of cards together...I cannot deal with it!

Famous sayings

as a drowned rat. - as ancient as the sun—as the stars.

List of words used in Science or Art

An instrument for detecting earthquakes - seismograph

Explanation of scientific items like barometer

The science of land management - agronomics

The seven wonders of the ancient world with explanations

The Pyramids of Egypt

Words to use as a Simile which is a phrase that describes one thing in terms of another.  A simile usually begins with like or as.

Archates - a good friend * Belt = to hit below the belt

List of words or phrases that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another 

abandon....... desert, forsake, leave.

Understanding words, Incorrect Use of Words,

Thesaurus of Words
:
Thesaurus - abandon = abandoned, abandoning, abandonment, abandons affluent =having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value,words explained and incorrect use of words

The floor was dirt.  Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." 

Words used in war

Nations carrying on warfare - belligerents

Anniversary dates and wedding information

Words shown in noun or verb

strong - strengthen

Signs of the Zodiac

Please note there are some excellent links to assist with these pages

see at the end for the links for further information. 

Abbreviations divider Acronyms divider Animals divider Antonymns divider Big Words for Small Words divider Characteristics divider Church divider Countries Cities

divider Communication divider Death divider Diminutives divider Famous divider Figurative Expressions divider Gender divider Geographical divider Gods and Goddesses divider Government divider Grammar and Syntaxdivider  Human Relationships divider Inventions divider Kings and Queens divider Literary Sentences divider Marriage divider Medicaldivider Metaphors divider Miscellaneous divider Nouns divider Names divider Nature divider Negatives divider Numbers divider Opposites divider Patron Saints divider Places divider Possessive Case divider Phobiasdivider Professions divider Proverbs divider Prefixes divider Science & Arts divider Scientific Termsdivider Seven Wonders divider Similies divider Synonyms divider War Words divider Wedding divider Words to Verbs divider Other divider Home

 

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