Commonly Confused Words in English | Learning Concepts
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Vocabulary

Concept: Commonly Confused Words

Definition

English has several confusing words that sound similar but are spelt differently.

Confusing Words Starting with the Letter ‘A’

  1. accept or except
  2. Accept means to receive anything.

    Example: I acceptyour invition

    Except means to omit or exclude.

    Example: Everyone was on time except Vicky.


  3. affect or effect
  4. Affect means to act on something to bring a change.

    Example: The song playing in the background affected her concentration.

    When an action is performed, it results is effect.

    Example:The medicine showed no side effects.


  5. allowed/aloud
  6. Allowed means a permission granted to do.

    Example: She wasn’t allowed to overeat junk foods any more.

    Aloud means saying out loud.

More Confusing Words:

  1. Some other commonly confused words are homophones. They sound the same but their meanings and spellings are different.
  2. Example

    1. Brake/Break:
      1. He didn’t hit the brake on time.
      2. Why did you break the vase?
      3. The break time is form 11- 11:30 am.
    2. Cell/sell
      1. She sells her paintings at a lower price.
      2. He is now in the prison cell for unlawful activities.
    3. To/Too/Two
      • To is a preposition to indicate towards a direction or approaching.
      • ExampleThe girl went to the store.

      • Too means to show an excess in terms of emotion or taste or activity.
      • Example The coffee is too sweet.

      • Two: is the number 2.
      • ExampleThere are two birds on the window sill.

  3. Some of the commonly confused words are called homonyms.They are pronounced and spelled the same, but they have different meanings.
  4. Example

    a. The word 'kind' can mean caring and type.

    1. She is a kind girl.
    2. What kind of musical instrument is this?

    b. The word 'book' can mean a printed book and to reserve in advance a seat.

    1. This is an interesting book.
    2. I have told her to book the flight tickets immediately.

List of Commonly Confused Words:

Commonly Confusing Words
Bear and Bare Lead vs led
Lose vs Loose Desert vs Dessert
Mail vs Male Born vs Borne
Advice vs Advise Idle vs Idol
Principal vs Principle Right vs Write
To vs Too Sea vs See
Their vs There Sole vs Soul
Whose vs Who’s Sun vs Son
Dear vs Deer Steel vs Steal
Birth vs Berth You're vs Your

Common Mistakes

Do not use the commonly confused words if you don’t know the meaning. The entire meaning of the sentence could change if used wrongly.

Examples:

✅ There are two birds sitting on the branch.

❌ There are to birds sitting on the branch.


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