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A List of Some Confusing words in English Language

Some confusing words in ENGLISH:

There are so many confusing words in English language that easily confuse people who are learning English language as their second language. The surprising thing is that even native English speakers can also commit such types of mistakes. Because these types of words have a similar spelling or a related, but different meaning.

Words that sound the same or nearly the same, but have different meanings often haunt writers. Here are some common pairs of words with correct definitions, for example: Accept / Except

Everyone is familiar with spell-checking: your word may be spelled correctly, but it may be the wrong word. English is full of confusing words that sound the same but written differently. It is also full of words that share similar meanings that are easy to misuse. Below are some of the most confused and misused words in English.

There are a list of Some Confusing Words in English Language given below:   

  • Above and over? 
    1. We use the above as a preposition, it means ‘higher than something’. Above and Over are almost the same in meaning.
      Ex: We flew above the cloud.
      The fan is five feet above the table.
      We mostly use “above” when there is no contact between the things referred to. 
    2. Over or on top of, can be used when one thing touches or covers another, when you say over, it conveys a sense of movement as well as a sense of covering a larger area:
      Ex: She put a blanket over the body. /
      My friend is over forty. 
  • Between and among?
    1. Use between when referring to one-to-one relationships.
      Ex: Just keep the secret between you and me .
    2. Use among cases nonspecific relationships involving more than two objects or persons.
      Ex: I want to live among like-minded people.

(Between is used when comparing two things like “between a rock and a hard place,” but among is used for a greater number)

  • Especially and Specially?
  1. These both are adverbs
    Especially is a common adverb that is defined as- “particularly, exceptionally or above all” to signify one person or thing among others.
    Ex: I enjoy traveling, especially to very different places.
    I am just fond of travelling and exploring especially with you.
    Note: Especially for “Particularly”
  2. Then there is another adverb, Specially that also means “particularly: but there is a condition that will help you to keep this word straight “specifically” use specific or special purpose of something. 
    Ex: He specially went to the shop to get her favorite chocolates.
    The cake was specially made for the occasion.
    Note: Mostly we use specially to talk about “specific” purposes or things.
  • Been and Gone?
  1.  Been is use as the past participle of the verb “be”
  2.  Gone is use as the past participle of the verb “go”
     Both can be used to describe visiting a place, but there is an important difference in the context of visiting a place.

     Been used for completed visits, means when we visit somewhere, and we come back after some time.
     Gone used for, If someone visits a place but has not come home. “Gone” describes a visit to a place and the visit is not completed.
     Ex: I have been to Paris 3 times.
     He’s not here. He has gone to the supermarket.
  • All ready/already 
  1. All ready: “All ready” is a phrase that means “completely prepared” as in “As soon as I put my jacket on, I’ll be all ready.”
    Ex: We are all ready for work. 
  2. Already: It is an adverb used for, talking about something that has happened before now or before a particular time in the past.
    Ex: You are already topper of the class.
  • A lot/ Alot/Allot 
  1. A lot: A lot means a large amount or number of people or things, can be used to modify a noun.
    Ex: I need a lot of time to get things done
  2. Alot: Alot is a common misspelling of a lot. A lot always be spelled as two words.
  3. Allot: allot is a verb that means to give something for a particular purpose.
    Ex: I will allot a few percentages of my salary for charity.
  •  Dessert / Desert 
  1. Dessert:  “dessert” is used for food.
    Ex: I’d love a piece of chocolate for dessert!
  2. Desert:  The noun “desert” is a place, a dry, treeless and uncultivated. “Desert” can also be a verb that means to abandon.
    Ex: Camels walk in the desert.
  • Advice/Advise:Advise’ is a verb—an action. It means ‘to give suggestion to’ or ‘offer an opinion to‘. The main difference between ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ is this: Advice is a thing (a noun) and Advise is a verb.
    These words have similar spellings and meanings, and there is only a slight difference in pronunciation.
    Advice — with an “s” sound — is a noun.
    Advise — with a “z” sound — is a verb.

      :My father gave me one piece of advice – “Always be on time.”

     :Jenny advised me to invest my money more carefully.

  • Affect/Effect: Affect is used as a verb, and it means to impact or change. The Effect is used as a noun, an effect is the result of a change.

 If you are stumped about which one to use in a sentence-Simply put affect means, to impact on or influence. For example, “The snow affected the traffic.” The effect is usually a noun. Simply put, effect means a result or outcome.
Example: Thomas humming affected Jerry’s ability to concentrate.
Thomas was sorry for the effect his humming had.

  • Complement/Compliment: A complement is related to completion, while a compliment relates to flattering words or acts. Everybody loves a compliment. Or is it a compliment they love?  complement and compliment are almost certain to appear.
    Though these both words come from the Latin word complēre (meaning “to complete”), complement continues to refer to something that completes or perfection, while compliment has branched off to refer to courtesy “especially in the form of admiration, esteem, praise or approval,” such as when paying someone a compliment for an achievement or for how they look.

    Examples: Her dress perfectly compliments the shade of her eyes.
    They make a great couple; their personalities are a perfect complement to one another.
  • Loose/Lose: “Loose” is an adjective used to describe things that are not tight or contained.
    “Lose” is a verb that means to suffer a loss, fail to win, to be deprived of something or defeat.
    Example: His shoelaces were loose.

                         I lose every time I play cards.

  • Principle/Principal: A principle is a rule, a law, a guideline, or facts that everyone  follows. Principal as an adjective means ‘most important. We can use principal as a noun to mean the incharge of a school or college (especially used in American English).
    Example: The scientific principles behind even the most complicated computer are relatively simple.
    The college principal made a speech congratulating all the students who were graduating that year.
  • Accept/Except: Accept is a verb means ready to agree or to receive something offered or believed on someone.
    Except is usually used as preposition, conjunction means excluding or with the exception of.
    Example: I accept your gift.
    I’ll give you all my baseball cards except for the Saint marry.
  • Breath/breathe: Breathe is a verb that refers to the process of inhaling and exhaling the air.
    Breath may be a noun that refers to a full cycle of breathing. It can also refer to the air that exhaled or the air you breathe out.
    Example: I was out of breath after running.

        I breathe heavily after running.

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