Confusing Words in English

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Today’s topic is essential for those trying to learn vocabulary and those who want to write better. It is crucial to say or write the word that you mean. If you notice, there are many confusing English words because they sound the same but are spelled differently.

Sometimes, even only one letter makes the difference, examples are: advice and advise, affect and effect, personal and personnel, altar and alter, bear and bare, compliment and complement, lose and loose, due and dew. Or at times, they seem to have a similar meaning, such as look and see, but are used in different contexts. Other examples are: fast and quick, hard and difficult, listen and hear, finish and complete, talk and speak, watch and clock. If you misuse these words, you won’t sound smart. But, if you use these words correctly, you will sound smart.

This time, we will look at two sets of commonly confused words.

ACCEPT and EXCEPT

Accept: to approve, to receive something willingly.

Examples: I accept this award on behalf of my team.

      I can’t accept the fact that my cat is already gone.

      He accepted the wedding invitation.

Except: with the exception of, not included, apart from

Examples: She counted everything except for the last row of apples.

        Please bring all the books except for the small ones.

        I wonder why the manager talked to everyone except me.

Try this:

  1. I ___________ your apology because I can see that you’re sincere.
  2. I like everything about you ___________ your bad temper.
  3. I am not qualified, so they may not ______________ me if I apply for that job.
  4. All the teachers are approachable, ____________ Ms. Minchin.

CONFIDANT and CONFIDENT

Confidant: a person whom you trust with private matters or secrets

Examples: Avoid telling Hanna your secrets. She is not a reliable confidant.

        My sister is my best confidant.

      Cynthia needs a confidant at this rough time of her life.

Confident: marked by assurance, having belief in your abilities, not being shy or nervous

Examples: It helps if you’re confident about yourself.

        David is confident that he will win the game.

        You need to be confident during job interviews.

Try this:

  1. My grandmother is my most trusted ___________________.
  2. Makeup usually makes women feel ________________ about the way they look.
  3. _______________ people do not give up easily.
  4. It is hard to find a true friend and ______________.

You can use this website to check out a comprehensive list of confusing words, definitions, and a few examples. This will be a helpful reference when you’re confused about certain words.


author
I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.