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Confusing Words

Updated: May 24

  1. Accept vs. Affect:

  • Accept (to receive willingly)

  • Example: She decided to accept the job offer.

  • Affect (to influence or produce a change in something)

  • Example: The new policy will affect all employees.

  1. Averse vs. Adverse:

  • Averse (having a strong dislike or opposition)

  • Example: She is averse to taking risks in her investments.

  • Adverse (unfavorable or harmful)

  • Example: The bad weather had an adverse impact on the crops.

  1. Beside vs. Besides:

  • Beside (next to)

  • Example: Please sit beside me during the meeting.

  • Besides (in addition to)

  • Example: She has many talents, besides being a skilled writer.

  1. Born vs. Borne:

  • Born (past participle of "bear," meaning to give birth to)

  • Example: She was born in the month of May.

  • Borne (carried or transported)

  • Example: The responsibility must be borne by the entire team.

  1. Canvas vs. Canvass:

  • Canvas (a strong fabric used for various purposes)

  • Example: The artist painted on a large canvas.

  • Canvass (to solicit votes or opinions)

  • Example: Volunteers will canvass the neighborhood for the upcoming election.

  1. Cite vs. Site:

  • Cite (to reference or quote as evidence)

  • Example: Don't forget to cite your sources in the research paper.

  • Site (a location or place)

  • Example: They chose a beautiful site for the new building.

  1. Compliment vs. Complement:

  • Compliment (a nice thing said about someone)

  • Example: He gave her a sincere compliment on her presentation.

  • Complement (something that completes or goes well with something)

  • Example: The colors of the furniture complement the overall design.

  1. Elicit vs. Illicit:

  • Elicit (to draw out or evoke a reaction)

  • Example: His comments managed to elicit a passionate response.

  • Illicit (forbidden by law, rules, or custom)

  • Example: The business was shut down for engaging in illicit activities.

  1. Farther vs. Further:

  • Farther (referring to physical distance)

  • Example: The store is farther away than I thought.

  • Further (referring to extent or degree)

  • Example: We need to conduct further research on the topic.

  1. Lay vs. Lie:

  • Lay (to put or place something down)

  • Example: Please lay the book on the table.

  • Lie (to recline or rest in a horizontal position)

  • Example: I need to lie down and rest for a while.

  1. Loose vs. Lose:

  • Loose (not firmly or tightly fixed in place)

  • Example: The screw is loose, and it needs tightening.

  • Lose (to be deprived of something or fail to win)

  • Example: If you don't practice, you might lose the match.

  1. Moral vs. Morale:

  • Moral (relating to principles of right and wrong)

  • Example: The decision was based on moral values.

  • Morale (the confidence or enthusiasm of a group)

  • Example: The team's victory significantly boosted the overall morale.

  1. Peak vs. Pique:

  • Peak (the highest point)

  • Example: The climbers reached the peak of the mountain.

  • Pique (to stimulate interest or curiosity)

  • Example: The intriguing story will pique your interest.

  1. Principle vs. Principal:

  • Principle (a fundamental truth or proposition)

  • Example: He adheres to a strict moral principle.

  • Principal (a person who has controlling authority)

  • Example: The school principal addressed the students.

  1. Stationary vs. Stationery:

  • Stationary (not moving)

  • Example: The car was stationary at the red traffic light.

  • Stationery (writing materials, pens, paper, etc.)

  • Example: I need to buy some new stationery for the office.



Exercise

Choose the correct form of the verb to complete the statement.

  1. The store is ________ (farther/further) away than I thought.

  2. The principal (principle) reason for the decision was financial.

  3. She wanted to ________ (lie/lay) down and rest for a while.

  4. The loose (lose) screws need tightening before the shelf collapses.

  5. We need to conduct ________ (further/farther) research on the topic.

  6. Please ________ (lay/lie) the documents on the table.

  7. The effect (affect) of the new policy was noticeable immediately.

  8. The company experienced an adverse (averse) impact due to the economic downturn.

  9. The climbers reached the ________ (peek/peak) of the mountain at sunrise.

  10. The intriguing story will ________ (peak/pique) your interest.

Answers:

  1. farther

  2. principal

  3. lie

  4. loose

  5. further

  6. lay

  7. effect

  8. adverse

  9. peak

  10. pique


Choose the correct form of the verb to complete the statement.

  1. She decided to (accept/except) the job offer.

  2. The weather can (affect/effect) your mood.

  3. The artist painted on a large (canvas/canvass).

  4. Volunteers will (canvas/canvass) the neighborhood for the upcoming election.

  5. Please (lay/lie) the book on the table.

  6. The responsibility must be (born/borne) by the entire team.

  7. The team's victory significantly boosted the overall (moral/morale).

  8. His (role/roll) in the project was crucial to its success.

  9. The mountain had a (shear/sheer) drop on one side.

  10. I want to (lie/lay) down and rest for a while.

  11. The intriguing story will (peak/pique) your interest.

  12. The (capital/capitol) of the country is a bustling metropolis.

  13. The protesters gathered outside the state (capital/capitol).

  14. The screw is (loose/lose), and it needs tightening.

  15. The company experienced an (adverse/averse) impact due to the economic downturn.

  16. We need to conduct (further/farther) research on the topic.

  17. Washington, D.C., is the (capital/capitol) of the United States.

  18. The new policy had a positive (affect/effect) on employee productivity.

  19. The climbers reached the (peek/peak) of the mountain at sunrise.

  20. She gave her a sincere (complement/compliment) on her presentation.

  21. The store is (farther/further) away than I thought.

  22. His (role/roll) in the play was challenging and rewarding.

  23. The intriguing story will (peak/pique) the interest of many readers.

  24. The mountain had a (sheer/shear) face that made it difficult to climb.

  25. The team's victory significantly boosted the overall (moral/morale).

  26. The artist decided to paint on a smaller (canvas/canvass).

  27. Volunteers will (canvas/canvass) for donations to support the cause.

  28. Please (lay/lie) the tools on the workbench.

  29. The decision was based on a moral (principal/principle).

  30. The store is (farther/further) away than I expected.

Answers:

  1. accept

  2. affect

  3. canvas

  4. canvass

  5. lay

  6. borne

  7. morale

  8. role

  9. sheer

  10. lie

  11. pique

  12. capital

  13. capitol

  14. loose

  15. adverse

  16. further

  17. capital

  18. effect

  19. peak

  20. compliment

  21. farther

  22. role

  23. pique

  24. sheer

  25. morale

  26. canvas

  27. canvass

  28. lay

  29. moral

  30. farther



Choose the correct form of the verb to complete the statement.


  1. The speaker's words managed to (elicit/illicit) a strong emotional response.

  2. The responsibility must be (born/borne) by the entire team.

  3. He decided to (role/roll) the dice and take a chance.

  4. The mountain had a (sheer/shear) face that made it challenging to climb.

  5. She chose to (allude/elude) to the issue without directly mentioning it.

  6. The bad weather had an (adverse/averse) impact on the outdoor event.

  7. Volunteers will (canvas/canvass) the neighborhood for support.

  8. The team's victory significantly boosted the overall (moral/morale).

  9. She gave a (complement/compliment) to her colleague on the successful project.

  10. I need to (lie/lay) down and rest for a while.

  11. The colors of the furniture (complement/compliment) the room's design.

  12. Please (stationary/stationery) the car in the designated parking spot.

  13. The artist decided to paint on a smaller (canvas/canvass) for this project.

  14. They chose a beautiful (site/sight) for the new building.

  15. The decision was based on a strong moral (principal/principle).

  16. Washington, D.C., is the (capital/capitol) of the United States.

  17. The intriguing story will surely (peak/pique) your curiosity.

  18. If you don't practice, you might (lose/loose) the match.

  19. The store is (farther/further) away than expected.

  20. The company conducted (further/farther) investigations into the matter.

Answers:

  1. elicit

  2. borne

  3. roll

  4. sheer

  5. allude

  6. adverse

  7. canvass

  8. morale

  9. compliment

  10. lie

  11. complements

  12. stationery

  13. canvas

  14. site

  15. principle

  16. capital

  17. pique

  18. lose

  19. farther

  20. further

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