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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-II

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-II

Its / It's
Lead / Led
Lie / Lay
Lose / Loose
Passed / Past
Precede / Proceed
Principal / Principle
Quote / Quotation
Reluctant / Reticent
Stationary / Stationery
Supposed To / Suppose
Than / Then
Their / There / They're
Through / Threw / Thorough / Though / Thru
To / Too / Two
Who / Which / That
Who / Whom

ITS-of or belonging to it
ex: The baby will scream as soon as its mother walks out of the room.
IT'S-contraction for it is
ex: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

LEAD-noun, a type of metal
ex: Is that pipe made of lead?
LED-verb, past tense of the verb "to lead"
ex: She led the campers on an over-night hike.

LIE-to lie down (a person or animal. hint: people can tell lies)
ex: I have a headache, so I'm going to lie down for a while.
(also lying, lay, has/have lain--The dog has lain in the shade all day; yesterday, the dog lay there for twelve hours).
LAY-to lay an object down.
ex: "Lay down that shotgun, Pappy!" The sheriff demanded of the crazed moonshiner.
ex: The town lay at the foot of the mountain.
(also laying, laid, has/have laid--At that point, Pappy laid the shotgun on the ground).

LOSE--verb, to misplace or not win
ex: Mom glared at Mikey. "If you lose that new lunchbox, don't even think of coming home!"
LOOSE--adjective, to not be tight; verb (rarely used)--to release
ex: The burglar's pants were so loose that he was sure to lose the race with the cop chasing him.
ex: While awaiting trial, he was never set loose from jail because no one would post his bail.

NOVEL-noun, a book that is a work of fiction. Do not use "novel" for nonfiction; use "book" or "work."
ex: Mark Twain wrote his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when he was already well known, but before he published many other works of fiction and nonfiction.

PASSED-verb, past tense of "to pass," to have moved
ex: The tornado passed through the city quickly, but it caused great damage.
PAST-belonging to a former time or place
ex: Who was the past president of Microsquish Computers?
ex: Go past the fire station and turn right.

PRECEDE-to come before
ex: Pre-writing precedes the rough draft of good papers.
PROCEED-to go forward
ex: He proceeded to pass back the failing grades on the exam/

Thanks to Shelley for showing us we had "proceed" misspelled as "procede" in one spot!

PRINCIPAL-adjective, most important; noun, a person who has authority
ex: The principal ingredient in chocolate chip cookies is chocolate chips.
ex: The principal of the school does the announcements each morning.
PRINCIPLE-a general or fundamental truth
ex: The study was based on the principle of gravity.

QUOTE-verb, to cite
ex: I would like to quote Dickens in my next paper.
QUOTATION-noun, the act of citing
ex: The book of famous quotations inspired us all.

RELUCTANT-to hesitate or feel unwilling
ex: We became reluctant to drive further and eventually turned back when the road became icy.
RETICENT-to be reluctant to speak; to be reserved in manner. Note that The American Heritage Dictionary lists "reluctant" as a synonym for "reticent," as the third definition. For nuance and variety, we recommend "reticent" for reluctance when speaking or showing emotion (after all, even extroverts can become reluctant).
ex: They called him reticent, because he rarely spoke. But he listened carefully and only spoke when he had something important to say.

STATIONARY-standing still
ex: The accident was my fault because I ran into a stationary object.
STATIONERY-writing paper
ex: My mother bought me stationery that was on recycled paper.

SUPPOSED TO-correct form for "to be obligated to" or "presumed to" NOT "suppose to"
SUPPOSE-to guess or make a conjecture
ex: Do you suppose we will get to the airport on time? When is our plane supposed to arrive? We are supposed to check our bags before we board, but I suppose we could do that at the curb and save time.

THAN-use with comparisons
ex: I would rather go out to eat than eat at the dining hall.
THEN-at that time, or next
ex: I studied for my exam for seven hours, and then I went to bed.

THEIR-possessive form of they
ex: Their house is at the end of the block.
THERE-indicates location (hint: think of "here and there")
ex: There goes my chance of winning the lottery!
THEY'RE-contraction for "they are"
ex: They're in Europe for the summer--again!

THROUGH-by means of; finished; into or out of
ex: He plowed right through the other team's defensive line.
THREW-past tense of throw
ex: She threw away his love letters.
THOROUGH-careful or complete
ex: John thoroughly cleaned his room; there was not even a speck of dust when he finished.
THOUGH-however; nevertheless
ex: He's really a sweetheart though he looks tough on the outside.
THRU-abbreviated slang for through; not appropriate in standard writing
ex: We're thru for the day!

ex: I went to the University of Richmond.
TOO-also, or excessively
ex: He drank too many screwdrivers and was unable to drive home.
TWO-a number
ex: Only two students did not turn in the assignment.

WHO-pronoun, referring to a person or persons
ex: Jane wondered how Jack, who is so smart, could be having difficulties in Calculus.
WHICH-pronoun, replacing a singular or plural thing(s);not used to refer to persons
ex: Which section of history did you get into?
THAT-used to refer to things or a group or class of people
ex: I lost the book that I bought last week.

WHO-used as a subject or as a subject complement (see above)
ex: John is the man who can get the job done.
WHOM-used as an object
ex: Whom did Sarah choose as her replacement?


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