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confusing words in English Commonly Confused WordsWriter's Web (printable version here

confusing words in English
Commonly Confused WordsWriter's Web
(printable version here)
The list of confusing words-I

confusing words in English  Commonly Confused WordsWriter's Web  (printable version here

Words that sound alike or nearly alike but have different meanings often cause writers trouble. Here are a few of the most common pairs with correct definitions and examples:
The list of confusing words-I

Accept / Except

Affect / Effect

A Lot / Alot

Allusion / Illusion

All Ready / Already

Altogether / All Together

Apart / A Part

Ascent / Assent

Breath / Breathe

Capital / Capitol

Cite / Sight / Site

Complement / Compliment

Conscience / Conscious

Council / Counsel

Elicit / Illicit

Eminent / Immanent / Imminent

ACCEPT-to receive
ex: He accepts defeat well.
EXCEPT-to take or leave out
ex: Please take all the books off the shelf except for the red one.

AFFECT-to influence
ex: Lack of sleep affects the quality of your work.

EFFECT-n., result, v., to accomplish
ex: The subtle effect of the lighting made the room look ominous.
ex: Can the university effect such a change without disrupting classes?

A LOT (two words)-many.
ALOT (one word)-Not the correct form.

ALLUSION-an indirect reference
ex:The professor made an allusion to Virginia Woolf's work.

ILLUSION-a false perception of reality
ex: They saw a mirage: that is a type of illusion one sees in the desert.

ALL READY-prepared
ex: Dinner was all ready when the guests arrived.

ALREADY-by this time
ex: The turkey was already burned when the guests arrived.

ex: Altogether, I thought that the student's presentation was well planned.

ALL TOGETHER-gathered, with everything in one place
ex: We were all together at the family reunion last spring.

APART-to be separated
ex: The chain-link fence kept the angry dogs apart. OR My old car fell apart before we reached California.

A PART-to be joined with
ex: The new course was a part of the new field of study at the university. OR A part of this plan involves getting started at dawn.

ASCENT- climb
ex: The plane's ascent made my ears pop.
ex: The martian assented to undergo experiments.

BREATH-noun, air inhaled or exhaled
ex: You could see his breath in the cold air.
BREATHE-verb, to inhale or exhale
ex: If you don't breathe, then you are dead.

CAPITAL-seat of government. Also financial resources.
ex: The capital of Virginia is Richmond.
ex: The firm had enough capital to build the new plant.
CAPITOL-the actual building in which the legislative body meets
ex: The governor announced his resignation in a speech given at the capitol today.

CITE-to quote or document
ex: I cited ten quotes from the same author in my paper.
ex: The sight of the American flag arouses different emotions in different parts of the world.
SITE-position or place
ex: The new office building was built on the site of a cemetery.

COMPLEMENT-noun, something that completes; verb, to complete
ex: A nice dry white wine complements a seafood entree.
COMPLIMENT-noun, praise; verb, to praise
ex: The professor complimented Betty on her proper use of a comma.

CONSCIENCE-sense of right and wrong
ex: The student's conscience kept him from cheating on the exam.
ex: I was conscious when the burglar entered the house.

COUNCIL-a group that consults or advises
ex: The men and women on the council voted in favor of an outdoor concert in their town.
COUNSEL-to advise
ex: The parole officer counseled the convict before he was released.

ELICIT-to draw or bring out
ex: The teacher elicited the correct response from the student.
ex: The Columbian drug lord was arrested for his illicit activities.

EMINENT-famous, respected
ex: The eminent podiatrist won the Physician of the Year award.
IMMANENT-inherent or intrinsic
ex: The meaning of the poem was immanent, and not easily recognized.
IMMINENT-ready to take place
ex: A fight between my sister and me is imminent from the moment I enter my house.


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