50 Most Commonly Confused English Words

Actually, there are more than 600 – 1000 confused words in the English Language, that either means the same (or) used for a similar purpose. But actually, there is a little difference between them.

Below given 50 commonly confused English words can help you realize their actual usage, original meaning, and their importance in daily usage.

The below words will also help you stay focussed while using the remaining confusing words once you get through these words.

So, kindly go through the below vocabulary with their real meanings and usage and improve you communication skills.

50 Most Commonly Confused English Words

Able Vs Capable

Able = Current things someone can do

Capable = Someone’s future potential

Accept Vs Except

Accept = to receive

Except = to exclude

All Ready Vs Already

All ready = completely prepared

Already = something happened before a certain time

All Right Vs Alright

All right = fairly well, everything is good (formal).

Alright = ok then/ok fine (informal)

All Together Vs Altogether

All together= All at the same time

Altogether = entire extent, with the everyone included

Allusion Vs Delusion Vs Illusion

Allusion = Passing reference or indirect mention

Delusion = A mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea

Illusion = Something that many people believe but is false

Alumna Vs Alumnae Vs Alumnus Vs Alumni

Alumna = A female graduate from a university, college, etc.

Alumnae = Plural form of Alumna (A group of women graduates)

Alumnus = A person who has received a degree from a school (high school, college or university).

Alumni = It is a plural form of alumnus (male graduates/former students of both sexes).

Amount Vs Number

Amount = A quantity of something (Mass noun: cannot of counted individually)

Number = Countable noun: can be counted individually

Anxious Vs Eager

Anxious = worried/ uneasy

Eager = Full of keen desire

Apt Vs Liable Vs Likely

Apt = Naturally disposed toward

Liable = At risk of or subject to experiencing something usually unpleasant

Likely = a likely result

Aware Vs Conscious

Aware = awareness about the happening world

Conscious = awareness of oneself

Awful Vs Awfully

Awful = very bad or unpleasant

Awfully = to emphasize something

Balance Vs Remainder (commercial terms)

Balance = the difference between debit & credit of an account

Remainder=denotes comparatively small part Between Vs Among.

Bring Vs Take

Bring = Bring your book with you when you come over

Take = Take your book with you when you leave over

Can Vs May = seek permission

Can is actually used in expressions that talks about capability

May is more polite way to seek permission than can.

Cannot Vs Can Not Vs Can’t

Can’t is a contraction form of Cannot

Cannot = unable/not willing

Can Not = we can not only stop there, but also won’t come in that route.

Certain Vs Sure

Sure & Certain = confidence/reliability

Certain = more emphasis on certainty & less frequently used.

Complected Vs Complexioned

Complected = Interconnected

Complexioned = tinted/give certain colour to

Continual Vs Continuous

Continual = repeated but with breaks in between

Continuous = continuing without breaks

Data Vs Datum

Data = single data

Datum = plural form of data

Disinterested Vs Uninterested

Disinterested = Unaffected by self-interest

Uninterested = Not showing interest

Each Other Vs One Another

We help each other through hard times (bi-directional action)

They compete with one another (can be more than two)

Enthuse Vs Enthusiastic

Enthuse = not in use & not accepted

Enthusiastic= Feel enthusiasm

Farther Vs Further

Farther = To mention physical distance

Further = to certain extent (where no physical distance is involved)

Fewer Vs Less

Fewer = When Actual count is distinct

Less = When general quantity is considered

Former Vs Latter

Former = Referring to the first of two things

Latter = Referring to the second of two things

Imply Vs Infer

Imply = state indirectly

Infer = guess correctly

Lay vs Lie

Lay = with object – i laid the book on the table

Lie = without object – I lied down/I lied on the bed

Learn Vs Teach

Learn = to gain knowledge

Teach = to give knowledge

Lend Vs Loan

Lend/Loan = give temporarily

Lend = non-financial

Loan = financial

Loose vs Lose

Loose = not tight

Lose = to fail to win/to misplace/to free oneself from something.

Majority Vs Plurality

Majority = At least one more than half

Plurality = number immediate next to majority

May vs Might

May = what is possible/could be factual

Might = hypothetical/counter factual

Memoranda vs Memorandum

Memoranda = a written proposal (plural form of memorandum)

Memorandum = a written proposal/reminder.

Moral Vs Morale

Moral = lesson learnt from a story

Morale = mental or emotional state

Practicable Vs Practical

Practicable = Usable for a specific purpose

Practical = Concerned with actual use or practice

Precede Vs Proceed

Precede = Be earlier in time; go back further

Proceed = follow up

Principal Vs Principle

Principal = Most important element

Principle = A basic generalization that is accepted as true

Prophecy Vs Prophesy

Prophecy (n) = Knowledge of the future with source

Prophesy (v) = Predict or reveal through

Proved Vs Proven

Proved (v) = Established beyond doubt

Proven (adj) = A proven formula

Provided Vs Providing

Provided = On condition

Providing = Give something useful

Raise Vs Rear

Raise = Increase the level or amount of something

Rear = back/behind

Raise Vs Rise

Raise = Increase the level or amount of something

Rise = Move upward

Shall Vs Will

Shall = First person future

Will = Expresses the future tense (2nd and 3rd person forms)

Should Vs Would

Follows the same pattern as shall vs will

Should = something is likely

Would = expresses a possibility

Sick Vs Disgusted

Sick =  Affected by an impairment of normal physical or mental function

Disgusted = strong disapproval

Set Vs Sit

Set = Fix conclusively

Sit = Take a seat

Somewhere Vs Somewheres

Somewhere = at some place

Somewheres = An indefinite or unknown location

Suspect Vs Suspicion

Suspect = Hold in suspicion

Suspicion = Doubt about someone’s honesty

Way Vs Ways

Way (singular) = conceptual path, road or direction

Ways (plural) = by all routes

Note: but never use plural form in the place of singular

Hope, the above words will give some insight about synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, and other related words, and will also help you to be more focused from now on to use more appropriate and correct vocabulary.

E.Hemachandra Prasad

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