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Confusing Words In English - Chapter 1:

There are many confusing words in English language which often further confuse some already confused people. And while they are confused, in their confusion, they often confuse other people with their confused confusions. So, to avoid these confusions, and further confusing you; I should cut the crap and present you what I made a 'list of confusing words in English'. This is chapter No.1 and in this chapter, we will discuss: 1. Advice vs. Advise 2. Affect vs. Effect 3. Between vs. Among 4. Loose vs. Lose 5. Principal vs. Principle

1. ADVICE vs. ADVISE: One of the most queried confusing words is the difference between advice vs. advise. In fact this one is rather really simple. The difference between advice vs. advise is: advice is a noun, while advise is a verb. You can clearly understand by the following example:
Example:

1. Advice: It is always good to take a piece of advice before you proceed on. 2. Advise: The doctor advised me to quit smoking. In short, if a subject is performing the advice (noun), you should use the word advise (as a verb)

2. AFFECT vs. EFFECT: Affect vs. Effect is another pair of confusing words in English language which often confuse readers and writers simultaneously. If you have cleared yourself with the concept of Advice vs. Advise, then this one is a piece of cake. Almost the same rule applies that affect is a verb i.e. to affect something; to influence. Here is a little change though. Here effect is the consequence or result of that influence. It is usually used as a noun.
Example:

1. Affect: Drinking and smoking affects our health in a negative way. 2. Effect: Drinking and smoking have negative effects on our health. Now that you have learned the difference, do not let this confusing pair of word affect your writing from now on :P 3. BETWEEN vs. AMONG: Generally speaking, between is used for two people and among is used for more than two people.
Examples:

1. Between: Allie had to choose between Noah and Lon. 2. Among: There may be an enemy among our friends. Clear enough? Though this one is a general rule, but technically even between can be used for more than two things. The rule here is that there should be more than two distinctive things, then between will be used in there.
Example:

Between: The differences between French, Arabic, Chinese and Urdu are significant.

4. LOOSE vs. LOSE: Loose vs. Lose is another pair of confusing word and homophone which troubles many people. Technically speaking, loose is an adjective, and lose is a verb. For the sake of clarification and generally speaking about this pair of confusing words, you can easily perceive the concept by understanding that loose is an adjective which is the opposite of tight (another adjective) i.e. not fit enough, not tight. While lose is a verb, which means to lose something to lose possession of something. The following example will further clarify these confusing words.
Example:

1. Loose: The screws are too loose to fit in. 2. Lose: Do not lose the keys! 5. PRINCIPAL vs. PRINCIPLE: Principal vs. Principle is one of those confusing pair of words and homophones in English language, in which even I get confused sometimes. But now I have come up with a trick, so I do not forget the difference now. First of all, these two words pronounce exactly the same; the only difference is of the spelling which ultimately brings a difference in meaning. (They are homophones) Principle: Principle means a rule, an axiom, a doctrine. Principal: Principal means the head of a school, college or university. (A principal is never any students pal. This is how I remember it). Special Note: Principal can also be used as an adjective e.g. He has a set of his principal disciplines and rules which he never breaks.(When used as an adjective, it means of the most important). Besides that, principal (as a noun) has many different meanings e.g. it can also be used as a principal amount of money and the interest. I get confused with affect and effect. Tell me if I have it right now. The information you provided has affected my mind in a postive way.

1. ALRIGHT vs. ALL RIGHT: All right vs. Alright is another pair of confusing words which often disturb people. However, I will write a sentence which should clear your confusion and will remain in your brain. The sentence is: Alright' is not all right. These two words have always been a matter of debate. Authorities have never given consent to alright and this word is considered to be a wrong word a misspelling for all right. So if you are using this word in a sentence, always try to write all right.

2. ALL READY vs. ALREADY: This is another pair of confusing word but this time both these words are absolutely all right. These two words have entirely different meaning. The following examples will further clarify it. All ready All ready means prepared. Already Already refers to something prior to the time; previous to some occasion.
Examples:

All ready: We are all ready and excited for the party tonight. Already: The fat kid had already eaten all the cake. Note: When 'all ready' is to be used in a sentence, you can double check by splitting these two words i.e. all and ready, and see if it makes sense. If it does, you are correct. e.g. 1. We are all ready and excited for the party tonight. 2. We all are ready and excited for the party tonight.

3. ALL TOGETHER vs. ALTOGETHER: Both these words are correct and have different meanings. All together: All together means everyone works/does something together; in a team sort of thing. Altogether: Altogether means complete. Examples: All together: The cheerleaders performed all together in the ceremony. Altogether: The maintenance of my car costs $1,000 altogether. Note: The trick is the same as above. You can split all and together, and can see if it makes sense. If it does, you are correct again. Wow! Example 1: The cheerleaders performed all together in the ceremony. Example 2: All the cheerleaders performed together in the ceremony.

4. ALTHOUGH vs. THOUGH vs. EVEN THOUGH: Although, though and even though are words with almost similar meaning. They can be used interchangeably as well. Although, I should clear some technical points here: Although: Although refers to the expression of in contrast of e.g. Although I was sick, I still decided to go to work. Though: 'Although' and 'though' can generally be used interchangeably, but 'though' is rather informal. Even though: Even though is a more expressive and concrete form of Although. It often shows more emphasis for a situation. E.g: Even though I was sick, I still decided to go to work.

5. ALTHOUGH vs. WHILE: Now that you have learnt the use of although, you might also have encountered with another confusing pair of words i.e. Although vs. While. As we have learned earlier that Although is used for in contrast of, but so does while.You can use them interchangeably, as to speak, but it is much better to keep while for referring time. On the other hand, when referring to contrast in any case, use although.

fun and funny


Both of these are positive adjectives. fun: something that is enjoyable. Something that we enjoy. 'Going to the park with friends is fun.' funny: something that makes us laugh is funny. 'The comedy I saw last night was really funny. I laughed and laughed.'

embarrassed and ashamed


The difference between these two adjectives is that ashamed is a much stronger word. It is used in very serious situations. Embarrassed: to feel uncomfortable in a social situation because of your actions or because of what someone has done to you. 'I felt embarrassed when I fell over in the street. Lots of people saw me fall. My face turned red.' Ashamed: to feel guilt or strong embarrassment over your actions. 'I am ashamed to tell you that i was arrested by the police for drink-driving.'

lend and borrow


Both lend and borrow are verbs. Although they are used in the same situation, they are opposites. Lend: to give something to someone. They will give it back to you when they are finished with it. 'I will lend you my car while I am away on holiday.'

Borrow: to receive or 'get' something from someone for a short period of time. 'Can I borrow your pen, please?' 'Practice' is a noun. 'To practise' is a verb. There is often confusion over the words 'practice' and 'practise'. In order to understand which to use, you must know the difference between a noun and a verb. This is because 'practice' is a noun; whereas, 'practise' is a verb. However, there are tricks to get around this. (See 'Hot Tip' right.) Examples: You need more practice. ("practice" - noun) ("You need more preparation/lessons." < sounds ok too; practice is correct) You should practise more. ("practise" - verb) ("You should prepare more." < sounds ok; practise is correct) Literally This one is not only often used in error, it is incredibly annoying when it is used in the wrong way. Literally means it really happened therefore, unless you live on a parallel universe with different rules of physics, you can not say he literally flew out the door. Saying someone flew out the door is speaking figuratively you could say he figuratively flew out the door but figuratively is generally implied when you describe something impossible. Literally can only be used in the case of facts for example: he literally exploded after swallowing the grenade. If he did, indeed, swallow the grenade and explode that last sentence is perfectly correct. It would not be correct to say she annoyed him and he literally exploded unless she is Wonder Woman and her anger can cause people to blow up. Bonus: I could care less I have to add this one as a bonus because it is one I especially hate. When you say I could care less you are saying I care a little so I could care less. Most people when using this horrific sentence mean to say I couldnt care less which means I care so little I could not care less. Bonus 2: Ironic Isnt it ironic? Actually, no, most of the time it is not. Irony, in its true form, is when you state something to a person who does not understand what you truly mean, but another person does. Essentially, it makes the hearer the brunt of the joke without their being aware of it. This is called dramatic or tragic irony because it originated on the stage where the audience knew what was happening but the victim on stage did not. The most sustained example of dramatic irony is

undoubtedly Sophocles Oedipus Rex, in which Oedipus searches to find the murderer of the former king of Thebes, only to discover that it is himself, a fact the audience has known all along. Another form of irony is Socratic irony, in which the person pretends to be ignorant of a subject in order to truly show the ignorance of the person with whom he is arguing. Unfortunately, poor Alanis Morissette had no clue when she said its a free ride when youve already paid or its like rain on your wedding day. This is not irony it is misfortune or coincidence. To sum it up, basically Irony is a figure of speech in which what is stated is not what is meant. Sarcasm can be a type of Irony. In US English, practice is used as either a verb (doing word), or noun (naming word). Hence, a doctor has a practice, and a person practices the violin. In UK english, practice is a noun, and practise is a verb. A doctor has a practice, but his daughter practises the piano. 2. Bought / Brought Bought relates to buying something. Brought relates to bringing something. For example, I bought a bottle of wine which had been brought over from France. The easy way to remember which is which is that bring start with br and brought also does. Buy and bought start with b only. This is one of those difficult ones that a spelling checker wont catch. 3. Your / Youre Your means belonging to you. Youre means you are. The simplest way to work out the correct one to use is to read out your sentence. For example, if you say youre jeans look nice expand the apostrophe. The expanded sentence would read you are jeans look nice obviously nonsensical. Remember, in English, the apostrophe often denotes an abbreviation. 4. Its / Its As in the case above, the apostrophe denotes an abbreviation: its = it is. Its means belongs to it. The confusion arises here because we also use an apostrophe in English to denote possession except in this case; if you want to say the cats bag you say its bag not its bag. Its always means it is or it has. Its a hot day. its been fun seeing you. 5. Two / To / Too With a w it means the number 2. With one o it refers to direction: to France. With two os it means also or refers to quantity for example: There is too much money. A good way to remember this one is that too has two os ie, it has more os than to therefore it refers to quantity.

6. Desert / Dessert This is a confusing one because in English an s on its own is frequently pronounced like a z and two ss are usually pronounced as a n s (for example: prise, prissy). In this case, desert follow the rule it means a large stretch of sand. However, dessert is pronounced dez-urt with the emphasis on the second syllable ie, something we eat as part of our meal. To make matters worse, when a person leaves the army without permission, it is spelt desert. So, lets sum up: desert (pronounced dez-it): dry land desert (pronounced dez-urt): abandon dessert (pronounced dez-urt): yum yum! remember, two ss because you want second helpings! Oh one more thing another very common mistake is using the word dessert (two ss) to mean pudding pudding is a sweet course, often consisting of some kind of cake or icecream. Dessert is fruit or cheese normally taken after the pudding course. 7. Dryer / Drier If your clothes are wet, put them in a clothes dryer. That will make them drier. A hair dryer also makes hair drier. 8. Chose / Choose This is actually quite an easy one to remember in English we generally pronounce oo as it is written such as moo. The same rule applies here: choose is pronounced as it is written (with a z sound for the s) and chose is said like nose. Therefore, if you had to choose to visit Timbuktu, chances are you chose to fly there. Chose is the past tense, choose is the present tense. "All right" is describing something or things, or their entirity (i.e.-"The test answers were all right" or "youre not all right in the head")...."alright" is more a confirmation, like "ok" or "fine" or "i comprehend..." all right adj. 1. a. In proper or satisfactory operational or working order: checked to see if the tires were all right. b. Acceptable; agreeable: Delaying the repair is all right by me. c. all-right (l r t ) Informal Satisfactory; good: an all-right fellow; an all-right movie. 2. Correct: Your answers are all right. 3. Average; mediocre: The performance was just all right, not remarkable. 4. Uninjured; safe: The passengers were shaken up but are all right. 5. Fairly healthy; well: I am feeling all right again.

adv. 1. In a satisfactory way; adequately: I held up all right under pressure. 2. Very well; yes. Used as a reply to a question or to introduce a declaration: All right, I'll go. 3. Without a doubt: It's cold, all right. Usage Note: Despite the appearance of the form alright in works of such well-known writers as Langston Hughes and James Joyce, the single word spelling has never been accepted as standard. This is peculiar, since similar fusions such as already and altogether have never raised any objections. The difference may lie in the fact that already and altogether became single words back in the Middle Ages, whereas alright has only been around for a little more than a century and was called out by language critics as a misspelling. Consequently, one who uses alright, especially in formal writing, runs the risk that readers may view it as an error or as the willful breaking of convention. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

all right adj (postpositive except in slang use) adv 1. adequate; satisfactory 2. unharmed; safe all-right US slang a. acceptable an all-right book b. reliable an all-right guy sentence substitute very well: used to express assent adv 1. satisfactorily; adequately the car goes all right 2. without doubt he's a bad one, all right Also alright Usage: See at alright Collins English Dictionary Complete and Unabridged HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003