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MODULE E (INDEPENDENT WORK) – confusables and other problems DIRECTIONS

Using the online dictionaries suggested by your teacher, figure out the meanings of confusables and pay attention to difficult spellings and other problems. See each section for specific instructions. Many of these will be tested in your final exam (see your course programme for details).

• • • • • • • • Start working early in the semester. Leaving a large amount of work for the last few days before the final exam could seriously reduce your chances of success in getting a high mark. Attend as many seminars as possible – you will see how such language items will be used in the actual final exam (question formats, exam strategies etc.) and also how they are used in real-life situations. Ask your teacher whenever you encounter problems. You can do so in person or by email. Your teacher is there to guide and advise you towards your best performance! Use the online dictionaries mentioned in this order of importance: LONGMAN > OXFORD > MACMILLAN > CAMBRIDGE – your teacher will be using these dictionaries in the same order of importance when constructing your test questions. Remember that many Romanians use English words incorrectly, just because some English words and grammatical structures are WRONGLY understood by some English-learning Romanians due to a superficial similarity (i.e. based on Romanian language logic, rather than on English language logic)! For example, the word actual is very different in English and Romanian usages! Remember that learning a foreign language also means THINKING IN A DIFFERENT WAY as compared to your own mother tongue! Words in a foreign language – although they may look like words in your own native language (Romanian, for instance) – can mean VERY DIFFERENT THINGS! Work systematically and constantly! Doing a lot of work during one week and none or very little during another week will not help! Do a small amount of work constantly, based on a plan / schedule. Always come back to previous work done, from time to time! This kind of revision will enable you to start recognizing (and using) what you’ve already studied.

Working with this task sheet will also help you if you take any of the following exams: • LINGUA • BEC HIGHER • CPE • CAE 1



THESE WORDS ARE VERY FREQUENTLY CONFUSED. USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! CONFUSABLES AS PAIRS / GROUPS alternate / alternative alternate / alternative attendee / attendant attendee / attendant base / basis base / basis beside / besides beside / besides business / businesses business / businesses continuously / continually continuously / continually custom / habit custom / habit INDIVIDUAL WORDS YOUR NOTES / EXAMPLES

alternate alternative attendee attendant base basis beside besides business businesses continuously continually custom habit 3

disability / inability disability / inability do / make do / make economic / economical economic / economical effective / efficient effective / efficient electric / electrical / electronic electric / electrical / electronic electric / electrical / electronic further / farther further / farther historic / historical historic / historical insurance / assurance / reassurance insurance / assurance / reassurance

disability inability do make economic economical effective efficient electric electrical electronic further farther historic historical insurance assurance


insurance / assurance / reassurance insure / ensure / assure reassure insure / ensure / assure reassure insure / ensure / assure reassure insure / ensure / assure reassure job / career job / career lie / lay lie / lay moral / morale moral / morale note / notice note / notice occasion / opportunity occasion / opportunity onset / outset onset / outset

reassurance / / / / insure ensure assure reassure job career lie lay moral morale note notice occasion opportunity onset outset


personal / interpersonal personal / interpersonal personnel / staff personnel / staff product / produce (nouns) product / produce (nouns) requirement / request requirement / request relation / relationship relation / relationship rise / raise rise / raise safety / security safety / security sex / gender sex / gender status / statute

personal interpersonal personnel staff product produce requirement request relation relationship rise raise safety security sex gender status


status / statute



SOME STUDENTS BUILD WORDS BASED ON LOGIC ONLY – WORD BUILDING IN ENGLISH IS FAR FROM LOGICAL! ALSO, SOME STUDENTS THINK THAT CERTAIN ROMANIAN-SOUNDING WORDS IN ENGLISH HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS IN ENGLISH. SOMETIMES THIS IS NOT THE CASE. USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! THESE WORDS / EXPRESSIONS DO NOT EXIST IN ENGLISH, THEY ARE USED INCORRECTLY OR THEY ARE MISSPELT academic academician actual advertisment advices annex beeing... caffe cathegory choise consecrate countability / contability Dear Lady, (in letters / emails) Dear Mister, (in letters / emails) discuss about something elaborate a document etc. Faculty of Economic / Economical Sciences graduate a university / faculty I didn’t take the exam of Marketing. I don’t have a verbal process. I forgot my student card at home... I gave an exam of French. THESE ARE THE CORRECT ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS

This word is not used like in Romanian. Look it up! This word is not used like in Romanian. Look it up! This word is not used like in Romanian. Look it up! advertisement advice; some advice; a piece / a word of advice This word is not used like in Romanian. Look it up! being cafe category choice This word is not used like in Romanian. Look it up! accounting / accountancy Dear Madam, Dear Ms / Mrs / Miss Jones etc. Dear Sir, Dear Mr Jones etc. discuss something draw up a document / draft a document Faculty of Economics graduate from a university / faculty I didn’t pass the exam in Marketing. I don’t have a formal statement. I left my student card at home. / I forgot my student card. I took / sat an exam in French. 7

I have a course / seminar of English. I have emotions... (Rom: am emoții) I left my paper at the secretary... I want to candidate for... I want to correct my mark... I will finish my faculty / university ... I will have my licence / license exam... I’m agree I’m interesting... inexistent informations irregardless lenght make an exercise many money musculous My note is wrong... My section is Finance and Banking. necesarly nervosity offert on another hand on one hand on the short / long term participant at / to / into something participate at / to / into something participation at / to / into something performant plan(n)ification professionist representant romanian, english etc. seriosity sincerly (in letters) spectaculous

I have a lecture / seminar in English. I am nervous. I left my paper with the secretary / at the secretary’s office. I want to run for... / I want to be a candidate for... I want to upgrade my mark. I will finish my (undergraduate / (post)graduate) studies... I will have my final exam(s) / my thesis / dissertation defence... I agree. I’m interested (in something). nonexistent information regardless / irrespective (of something) length do an exercise much / a lot of money muscular My mark is wrong. My major is Finance and Banking. necessarily nervousness offer on the other hand on the one hand in the short / long term participant in something participate / take part in something participation in something competitive planning professional (noun and adjective) representative (noun and adjective) Romanian, English etc. seriousness sincerely spectacular 8

strenght thaught thougt touristic trainings unicity What means X? wiht Your sincerly (in letters)

strength thought thought tourist (noun and adjective; e.g. tourist attractions) training (sessions / courses) uniqueness What does X mean? with Yours sincerely (BrE) / Sincerely yours (AmE)

HERE ARE THE CORRECT SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS OF SOME NOUNS. USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! SINGULAR PLURAL analysis analyses basis1 bases crisis crises hypothesis hypotheses thesis theses etc. aircraft2 aircraft means3 means series series species species etc. criterion criteria curriculum curriculums, curricula4 fungus5 funguses, fungi
1 2

Base and basis are different as nouns (look them up in a dictionary). The plural of basis is bases. The plural of base is also bases. Aircraft and spacecraft follow the same rule. But if you speak of crafts in general (Rom: meșteșuguri), you have craft (singular) and crafts (plural). 3 Like in means of transport. Mean is never used as a singular noun! 4 By adopting this word directly from English, Romanians make a mistake in grammatical and lexical usage: Curicula nu este adaptată învățământului superior; the correct alternative would be: Programa nu este adaptată învățământului superior.


medium6 media phenomenon phenomena syllabus syllabuses, syllabi etc.

HERE ARE SOME DIFFICULT SPELLINGS OF SOME DERIVATIVES. USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! ADJECTIVE broad deep high long strong weighty (= heavy) wide NOUN breadth depth height length strength weight width VERB broaden deepen heighten lengthen strengthen weigh widen

BASE FORM arise (irregular), INTRANSITIVE arouse (regular), TRANSITIVE lay (irregular), TRANSITIVE7 lie (irregular), INTRANSITIVE8 lie (regular), INTRANSITIVE
5 6


Fungus and mushroom are different! Look them up in a dictionary! Medium / mediums = people with paranormal abilities. C.f. the mass media (= newspapers, television, radio etc.). 7 Transitive verbs always take a direct object: She lay the table for the 6 of us. The table is the direct object of lay and responds to the question What did she lay? 8 Intransitive verbs never take direct objects: Bulgaria lies to the south of Romania . NOT: Bulgaria lays to the south of Romania ! Please note that lay / lie can be quite confusing regarding past and participle forms! Also remember that one and the same verb can be used transitively (I’m eating a pizza – the direct object is mentioned: a pizza) or intransitively: I’m eating – the direct object is not mentioned).


raise (regular), TRANSITIVE rise (irregular), INTRANSITIVE rouse (regular), TRANSITIVE

raised rose roused

raised risen roused



NOT ALL WORDS THAT END IN –LY ARE EXCLUSIVELY ADVERBS!10 USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! THESE ARE ONLY ADJECTIVES THESE ARE POSSIBLE ADVERB EQUIVALENTS friendly, cowardly, lovely, leisurely etc. in a friendly / cowardly lovely / leisurely way / manner etc. etc. THESE CAN BE EITHER ADJECTIVES OR ADVERBS (depending on context) early hourly weekly11 daily12 monthly13 yearly

This is the one and only exception you will ever have to remember for correct usage in this sense! The rule is that whenever you add the –ly suffix to an adjective ending in either –ic or –ical, you will have an adverb, e.g. scientific > scientifically, economic > economically, economical > economically etc. However, publically is incorrect. This is the only exception: publicly! 10 As a rule, if you add –LY to an adjective, you obtain an adverb: beautiful > beautifully, nice > nicely, wonderful > wonderfully etc. However, there are some exceptions (see the tables above). By the way, although you have the word full spelt with double L as a single word (e.g. a room full of people), as a suffix, the spelling is –FUL: e.g. wonderful; you only have a double L in the suffix if you also add –LY to form an adverb: e.g. wonderfully. 11 See footnote (12) below. 12 This can also be a noun: What dailies do you read? (= What daily newspapers?) 13 See footnote (12) above.


etc. THIS CAN ONLY BE AN ADJECTIVE OR A NOUN (depending on context) quarterly etc.

SOME ADJECTIVES CAN ONLY BE USED AFTER NOUNS, NOT IN FRONT OF THEM – AND VICE VERSA! REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING AND ALWAYS CHECK A DICTIONARY WHEN UNSURE. USE A DICTIONARY FOR EXTRA HELP! ADJECTIVES THAT ARE ONLY USED AFTER NOUNS ABLAZE: The building was ablaze. AFRAID: She is afraid of heights. ALONE: He is alone. ASLEEP: The dog was asleep. etc. POSSIBLE ADJECTIVE EQUIVALENTS The burning building collapsed. The scared / frightened woman wouldn’t jump! The lonely / lonesome guy hardly ever goes out. Let sleeping dogs lie!14


Proverb = “do not make a seemingly dangerous situation even more dangerous!”