PAIRS OF WORD OFTEN CONFUSED IN ENGLISH

PAIRS OF WORD OFTEN CONFUSED IN ENGLISH
I. Same pronunciation but different meaning and different spelling.
NOTE: These represent problems in spelling and are so widely different in meaning that they are easily distinguished once the spelling is mastered.
1. affect: to act upon
effect: the result
2. altar: sacrificial table
alter: to change
3. coarse: rough
course: path
4. complement: completing
compliment: praise
5. council: group of advisers
counsel: advice
6. mantel: shelf over fireplace
mantle: covering like a cloak
7. principal: chief
principle: doctrine
8. stationary: at rest
stationery: paper
II. Similar pronunciation and spelling.
9. accept: to receive or agree to
except: to omit; with exclusion
10. adapt: to make over
adopt: to take over
11. aesthetic: loving beauty
ascetic: giving up pleasure
12. allusion: reference
illusion: misleading image
Cf. delusion: fixed misconception
13. ardent: fervent
arduous: laborious
14. omnient: illustrious
imminent: impending
eminent: prominent
15. farther: more distant in space
further: more distant; additional; also used as verb
16. flaunt: to display boastfully
flout: to treat with contempt
17. formally: in due form
formerly: in time past
18. ingenious: clever
ingenuous: frank, naive
19. monetary: financial, pecuniary
monitory: warning, admonishing
20. statue: sculpture
stature: height
Cf. statute: law
III. Words from the same root but with different suffixes.
21. contemporaneous: applied to events at same time
contemptuous: expressing contempt or disdain
22. contemptible: worthy of being despised
contemptuous: expressing contempt or disdain
23. continual: close recurrence but sometimes broken (used only of time)
continuous: without interruption (used of time and space)
24. distinct: distinguished by nature, as distinct species
distinctive: distinguishing, as distinctive coloring
25. official: pertaining to an office or position
officious: offering service where not needed; meddlesome
26. sensual: devoted to gratification of senses; voluptuous
sensuous: characterized by images appealing to the senses
IV. Words from the same root but with different prefixes:
27. amoral: outside the sphere where morals apply
immoral: against moral code
unmoral: having no moral perception
28. apprehend: to become aware of; also to anticipate with dread
comprehend: to understand, also to include
29. avenge: to punish in just retribution
revenge: to punish in resentful retaliation
30. deductive: reasoning from general to particular, from universal to individual
inductive: reasoning from part to whole, from individual to universal
31. deflation: letting air out; reduction of purchasing power
inflation: swelling with air; sharp increase of money and price levels
32. disinterested: having no interest for personal advantage
uninterested: having no interest whatsoever
33. exist: to have actual being; more positive than subsist
subsist: to retain the present state of being
34. explicit: clearly developed; not ambiguous
implicit: unquestioning, implied
35. extrinsic: unessential, extraneous
intrinsic: essential, inherent
36. heterodox: contrary to doctrine
orthodox: holding to doctrine
Cf. heretical: perniciously heterodox, promoting dissension
37. objective: emphasizing universal ideas; detached, impersonal
subjective: reflecting personal bins and individual emotions
V. A few more troublesome pairs of words
38. analysis: separation into constituent elements
synthesis: building up of parts to make a whole
39. compound: made up of two or more parts that can ordinarily stand alone
complex: made up of two or more parts that are intricately interwoven
This article orignally appeared on http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/English/writingcenter/confusedwords.htm

PAIRS OF WORD OFTEN CONFUSED IN ENGLISH 7.3 of 10 on the basis of 4277 Review.