What Are Some Commonly Confused Words?


Some English words are easily confused because they have similar spellings and/or similar pronunciations but different meanings. Some commonly confused words are homophones. What are some commonly confused words in English?

What Are Some Commonly Confused Words?

Here are some commonly confused words in English:

  1. Allusion (n): an indirect reference.
  2. Illusion (n): a false vision of reality.
  • Adverse (adj): contrary to one’s interests; opposing
  • Averse (adj): having an unfavorable feeling toward; disinclined
  1. Appraise (v): to evaluate; to set a value on
  2. Apprise (v): to inform

  • Anyway (adverb): besides, despite sth, even so.
  • Any way (phrase): any method or manner.

  1. Complement (v): to complete, to bring to perfection, to make whole.
  2. Compliment(n): an expression of praise, admiration, congratulation, or respect.

  • Confidant (n): a friend or person that you trust and talk to about secret or private things.
  • Confident (adj): certain; sure; assure

  1. Contagious (adj): spread by contact; catchy.
  2. Contiguous (adj): sharing an edge or border; nearby.
  • Conscience (n): having a sense of right and wrong
  • Conscious (adj): being aware of sth/ of doing sth.
  1. Click (n): a short, sharp sound.
  2. Clique (n): a small, exclusive group.

  • Continual (adj): repeated regularly
  • Continuous (adj): uninterrupted; ceaseless

  1. Deference (n): behavior that shows you respect others.
  2. Difference (n): dissimilarity; unlikeness/ disagreement between people.

  • Effect (n): impact, influence, result.
  • Affect (v): to produce a change in sth or sb, to impact or influence sth or sb.
  1. Eminent (adj): well known; unusual, excellent.
  2. Imminent (adj): about to happen; impending.

  • Expand (v): to increase in size
  • Expend (v): to spend; to consume or use up
  1. Incredible (adj): unbelievable, beyond belief, too implausible to be believed.
  2. Incredulous (adj): disbelieving; skeptical or unable to believe.
  • Ingenious (adj): clever; skillful; resourceful
  • Ingenuous (adj): unsophisticated; straightforward; artless
  1. Lose (v): to be unable to find sth/sb, to mislay.
  2. Loose (adj): not firmly fixed where it should be, not fitting closely (clothes).

  • Than: (conjunction): than is used to compare two things/people.
  • Then (adverb): Then is used to indicate time.
  1. Perpetrate (v): to commit, to be responsible for, or guilty of a crime.
  2. Perpetuate (v): to prolong the existence of; to cause to be remembered
  • Personal (adj): not belonging to anyone else, your own, private.
  • Personnel (n): a group of people employed by a company or organization.
  1. Precede (v): to go before
  2. Proceed (v): to go forward; to move in an orderly manner
  • Than: (conjunction): than is used to compare two things/people.
  • Then (adverb): Then is used to indicate time.
  1. Veracious (adj): truthful; honest
  2. Voracious (adj): having a great appetite for food or pursuit of an activity; very keen to learn or do sth.

Commonly Confused Homophones

Homophones are defined as the words that sound similar but are spelt in a different way. Homophones contribute to poor spelling. The best way to know which spelling is the correct one is to know the meaning of wach word.

Here are some easily confused homophones:

  • Your: Possessive adjective. (What’s your nationality? /I’m your English teacher./ What’s your home country?)
  • You’re: The short form of ‘are’ with the subject pronoun you. (You’re in my class. You’re the first student on the list.)

  1. To: Preposition ( I want to travel to Australia. / I need to go./ They would like to live in the country.)
  2. Too: Adverb. 1. It means ‘also’ and ‘in addition’ when used at the end of a sentence. (I’m glad to meet you, too. /Me too/ I love chocolate, too.) 2. Too means more than needed or enough ( Too many cooks spoil the broth./ He’s too fat.)
  3. Two: Number. (I have two brothers and two sisters.)

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