English has many Confused Words that sound alike but have different meanings. It’s easy to mix them up. For example, some people get confused between words like ‘there’ and ‘their’. Using the wrong word can change what you mean. It’s important to know the difference between these Confused Words. When you use the right words, people understand you better. Also, when you write online, using the correct words can help more people find and read your post. So, if you want to speak and write English well, it’s good to learn about these tricky words. This blog will help you understand and use them correctly.
Confused Words List
Advent Vs Arrival
Advent is used with reference to an important event.
- People hail the advent of spring by indulging in all sorts of merry-making.
Arrival is used with reference to a person, a vehicle or an automobile.
- The people awaited his arrival very eagerly.
Ability Vs Capacity
Ability means power to receive, accomplish something;
- Advance increments are given on the basis of one’s ability.
Capacity means power to receive, no or contain
- His capacity for Mathematics is very limited.
Addicted Vs Devoted
Addicted is used with reference to a voice.
- He is addicted to smoking.
Devoted is used with reference to pursuits or objects considered noble.
- He is devoted to his wife.
Adapt Vs Adopt Vs Adept
Adapt means to adjust to circumstances or occasions.
- He adapted his language to the intellectual level of his audience.
Adopt mean accept.
- Mr. and Mrs. Samuel had no child and so they were eager to adopt someone as their heir.
Adept means expert.
- He is adept in the art of photography.
Allow Vs Permit
Allow implies absence of opposition but does not always imply approval.
- In Pakistan open sale of wine is not allowed.
whereas Permit implies sanction and approval.
- I can permit him to enter the premises but I don’t allow him to do so.
Anxious Vs Eager
Anxious is used to denote a state of suspense.
- He was anxious to know his result.
Eager means desirous.
- I am eager to buy this book.
Allusion Vs Illusion
Allusion implies indirect hint or reference to someone.
- This poem is full of many obscure allusions.
Illusions means an imaginary appearance.
- The doctor asked the patient if he suffered from illusions.
Adopt Vs Assume
You can assume a pose, a theory, a supposition, a false name or an inference;
- You assume that he is not capable of such a mischief.
Adopt means to accept and to regard as one’s own.
- He adopted a wrong line of action.
Allude Vs Refer
To allude is to refer casually or incidentally.
- The speaker alluded to the interesting customs prevalent among some people in the course of his lecture.
To refer means to give definite and full information.
- I would refer you to Concise Oxford Dictionary.
Altercation Vs Fight
An altercation is a verbal fight.
- An altercation ensued between the two parties over the question of playing music before a mosque.
whereas a fight implies the use of physical force.
- Some college boys often fight with one another, over trifling matters.
Ancient Vs Old
Ancient should be used when an object is old as the historical period, especially the earliest periods.
- We know very little about the history of Ancient India.
Old is used for an object which is nearly zoom out.
- He threw away his old pair of shoes.
Anticipate Vs Expect
Anticipate means to know beforehand.
- The defence counsel anticipated the arguments of the prosecution side and nullified their force by counter-arguments.
Except means to wait for the arrival of some.
- One, and to think or believe that a person or thing is coming or that an event will happen. Don’t expect me till Sunday next.
Brake Vs Break
Brake means some checking apparatus
- The driver applied the brakes and the car pulled up a few inches off the children.
Break means to come apart.
- This stick is so frail that it would break into two if you beat the dog with it.
Childlike Vs Childish
Childlike implies innocence
- His childlike simplicity appeals to everybody.
Childish suggests foolishness
- He minds even very trifling matters sometimes and becomes almost childish.
Charge Vs Accuse
Charge is followed by with and accused by of.
- He was charged with the murder of the newspaper boy.
Accuse for a milder offence.
- He accused me of theft.
Crime Vs Error
A crime is a violation of law
- It is a crime to publish a defamatory article about respectable person.
An error is a mistake which may not be a crime.
- The magistrate committed an error of judgment and sentenced him to death.
Contemptuous VS Contemptible
Contemptible is used with reference to a person or scheme that is base, mean and of low type
- A sweeper is regarded a contemptible person in Pakistan.
Contemptuous denotes scorn and hatred and is used with reference to actions.
- She cast a contemptuous glance at Massey whose behaviour in the audience was simply
Discomfit Vs Discomfort
Discomfit means to bewilder or perplex.
- The counsel discomfited the witness by means of cross-examination. Discomfort means absence of comfort.
Discomfort means absence of comfort.
- Think of the discomforts that the poor have to endure during these hard times.
Device Vs Devise
Device is a noun meaning a contrivance
- A machine is a device to save labour and time.
Devise is a verb meaning to invent.
- We can devise ways and means to meet such a situation.
Domineer Vs Dominate
Domineer means to rule over others in an unreasonable and tyrannical way.
- His domineering ways were dislike by all his colleagues and subordinates.
Dominate has happier associations than domineer.
- The Muslim League dominates the hearts of the masses in Pakistan.
Economic Vs Economical
Economic refers to the science of economic.
- He failed in economics and geography.
Economical means thrifty and less expensive.
- His way of living is most economical.
Evidence Vs Testimony
Evidence is the statement of fact.
- The evidence given by him was recorded by the police.
Testimony is the confirmation of a statement.
- I bear testimony to the fact that he was an employee of the firm in the year 1928.
Elapse Vs Lapse
Elapse is a verb meaning to pass and is used with reference to time only.
- Many years elapsed after the event and nothing serious happened.
Lapse means a period of time.
- After the lapse of specified period, you can withdraw the amount from the fixed deposit account
Elder is used with reference to a relative only.
- His elder brother came to fetch him today.
Older is comparative degree of old.
- Though still in his thirties, he looks older.
Excuse me Vs Pardon me
Excuse me is employed when the fault committed is minor.
- Excuse me I never requested you to show favour to me in any matter.
Pardon mean is used when the fault is serious and objectionable.
- Pardon me, sir, I had no intention to injure your feelings.
Effectual Vs Effective
Effectual means that which produces a good effect.
- The new constitution has proved very effectual.
Effective is that which produces an effect.
- Paludrine is very effective for malaria.
Future Vs Subsequent
The word future should be used to denote time only.
- In future you should be careful about your work.
Subsequent means following, later.
- Subsequent events proved that he made a wrong start.
Farther Vs Further
Farther is used with reference to distance or space
- The nearer the church, the farther from God.
Further implies something additional in thought.
- I know nothing further than that.
Greed Vs Avarice
Greed means instigate longing for something,
- He is so greedy what he would never be satisfied with what he gets.
Avarice means greed of gain or wealth.
- Avarice has so seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them, then they to possess their wealth.
Graceful Vs Gracious
Graceful means handsome or agreeable
- He has a graceful appearance.
Gracious means merciful.
- God save our gracious king.
Grandiloquent Vs Eloquent
Grandiloquent is one whose style is pompous or verbose.
- Our professor is rightly regarded as a grandiloquent speaker since his speech is usually full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Eloquent is one who is a fluent and powerful speaker.
- Mr. Jinnah was an eloquent speaker
Haply Vs Happily
Haply means by chance
- Happy I may remember and haply forget.
Happily means in a happy manner.
- They lived happily over afterwards.
Human Vs Humane
Human means pertaining to man
- Human race can be divided into five distinct classes.
Humane means kinds and benevolent.
His attitude towards the criminals was very humane.
Handicap Vs Hindrance
Handicap is an artificial
- He succeeded in spite of many handicaps.
Hindrance resulting in advantage or disadvantages.
- He proved a hindrance in my way.
Incapable Vs Unable
Incapable is used with reference to a permanent disability.
- He is incapable of holding a position as minister.
Unable with regard to a particular instance.
- He is unable to come to college today.
Infinite Vs Ingenious
Infinite means skillful or clever
- He is an ingenious mechanic.
Ingenious means frank, artless or plain.
- He related the incident in an ingenuous manner.
Indicate Vs Imply
To indicate means to reveal, explain or specify
- The recent incidents indicate the trend of events to come.
Imply means involve the truth of, or means.
- These words imply that you will be paid for your labour adequately.
Insinuate Vs Suggest
To insinuate means to hint at something evil
- Do you mean to insinuate that I have embezzled the money?
Suggest means implies a malicious attitude.
- I can suggest a way out of the difficulty.
Ingenuous Vs Ingenious
Ingenuous means skillful or clever
- He is an ingenious mechanic.
Ingenious means frank, artless or plain.
- He related the incident in an ingenuous manner.
Innocent Vs Innocuous
Innocent means pure.
- He is and innocent man.
Innocuous means harmless in effect.
- This drug is perfectly innocuous, so you may take it without any fear.
Ill Vs Sick
Ill means out of health
- He is ill these days.
Sick means incapacitated by illness.
- He is a sick man and should take particular care of his health.
Judicial Vs Judicious
Judicial means pertaining to a judge or court of justice,
- The judicial proceedings were long and boring.
Judicious means prudent.
- By judicious investments he increased his wealth.
Kill Vs Assassinate Vs Murder
To kill is simply to put to death,
- I kill a bird but I murder a man.
To Murder a person is to put him to death intentionally.
- To assassinate is to murder by surprise, design or secret assault.
Likely Vs Liable
Likely is used to express probability about the taking place of some event
- Very likely the University Commission will visit our college during the next month.
Liable is used when the consequences of the event are unpleasant.
- The defaulter is liable to be expelled from the college.
Monstrous Vs Enormous
Monstrous means both enormous and ugly.
- Such a procedure will involve enormous waste of time.
Enormous means big in size.
- He made a monstrous blunder by giving the contract to a dishonest and unscrupulous contractor.
Moat Vs Mote
A moat is a ditch surrounding a castle,
- The knight crossed the moat by swimming and reached the gate of the castle.
A mote a participle of dust.
- “As thick and numberless. As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.” — Milton.
Negligent Vs Negligible
Negligent is applied to a person
- He is very negligent in his studies.
Negligible means any unimportant event or thing which may be disregarded.
- The difference between the actual and the estimated costs was almost negligible.
Potent Vs Potential
Potent means powerful.
- Mr. Muhammad Ali’s word is more potent than any other politician of Pakistan.
Potential means latent.
- Nehru is trying to become a potential Hitler or Mussolini.
Persecute Vs Prosecute
Persecute means to punish unjustly.
- The Roman Catholic kings persecuted the Protestants most mercilessly.
Prosecute means to carry out a plan or to bring a law-suit against a person.
- He was prosecuted in charge of trespass.
Probable Vs Possible
Probable is that which may be expected to happen or prove true
- Probable is stronger than possible.
Possible is that which can exist or can be done or happen.
- In human life everything is possible.
Queer Vs Quaint
Quaint is used with reference to objects which, though old-fashioned, are attractive
- The people of tribal areas have quaint customs.
Queer is used with persons who are strange-looking and are almost abnormal.
- As I was returning home at midnight, a queer looking person accosted me.
Receptacle Vs Recipient
Receptacle means a container
- A waste paper basket is a receptacle for all torn pieces of paper.
Recipient is applied to persons only and means one who receives something.
- He was the recipient of a modal for standing first in his class.
Seam Vs Seem
Seam is a line in a coat, etc. where two edges are joined
- His old coat has many frayed seam.
To seem is to be appear to be.
- He seems to be an honest man.
Solid Vs Stolid
Solid is used with reference to objects which are hard and firm
- Iron is a solid metal.
Stolid is used with reference to human beings who are devoid of fellow feeling and emotion.
- Amjad is a stolid looking fool who has never done a wise thing.
Sanguine Vs Sanguinary
Sanguine means hopeful
- He is quite sanguine of his success.
Sanguinary means attended with much bloodshed.
- A sanguinary battle was fought at the Gladden Field between the Parliamentary party and King’s party.
Simulation Vs Dissimulation
Simulation is pretending what one is not
- The teacher simulated anger in order to restore in the class.
Dissimulation is holding what one really is.
- A detective has often to practice dissimulation.
Sensuous Vs Sensual Vs Sensational
Sensuous is used in a good sense and means pertaining to the senses
- “Keats is the most sensuous of all the English poets.
Sensual means to appeal to the best senses.
- He is a vile sensual beast.
Sensational means existing.
- We cannot expect him to check himself. He made a sensational discovery.
Unqualified Vs Disqualified
Unqualified means not legally or officially qualified or not modified.
- He was asked to tender an unqualified apology.
Disqualified means unfit ineligible.
- He has been disqualified from sitting in any public examination by reason of his political views.
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