Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2267547-Commonly-Confused-Words
by BeeJay
Rated: E · Column · Educational · #2267547
Have you ever meant to use one word, but used a different one entirely?
There are words in the English language that sometimes get mixed up, usually because they are spelled or pronounced similarly. Here, we'll try to make that a little less common. We'll look at some of the most frequently confused words. Maybe you have used one of these the wrong way by mistake:

Accept vs. Except

I cannot accept this.
I like all jazz, except Dixieland.

Advice vs. Advise

May I offer some advice?
I would advise against it.

Affect vs. Effect

A poor choice of words can affect someone negatively.
Being tired can be the effect of working too hard.

Assure vs. Ensure vs. Insure

I can assure you, everything will be alright.
I can ensure that the package will get there safely.
I will insure this car against damage and theft.

Breath vs. Breathe

Your breath smells good.
Breathe in; breathe out.

Cite vs. Sight vs. Site

Can you cite your source?
You're a sight for sore eyes.
This will be the site where we will build our house.

Complement vs. Compliment

This wine will complement dinner nicely.
I meant it as a compliment, but it didn't come out that way.

Do vs. Due

Can I ask you to do this for me?
This is due in two weeks.

Elicit vs. Illicit

It's hard to elicit sympathy for a character like that.
He made his money in illicit drugs.

Hear vs. Here

Can you hear me now?
Come here.

Its vs. It's

Its job is to protect the user.
It's... Monty Python's Flying Circus!

Laid vs. Lay vs. Lie

I laid down the hammer when I was done.
I lay down for a nap.
I told a lie.

Loose vs. Lose

There should be no loose ends.
It seems like I always lose my keys.

Passed vs. Past

I passed my exit.
I was trying to get past this slow driver.

Peak vs. Peek vs. Pique

I climbed all the way to the peak.
I took a peek behind the curtain.
Here's something to pique your interest.

Principal vs. Principle

Can you name the principal products of Sri Lanka?
It goes against my principle to do something like that.

Than vs. Then

I'd rather eat a hamburger than a salad.
First, we'll go to a restaurant for dinner; then, we'll go to see a movie.

Their vs. There vs. They're

There are those who haven't learned their grammar, and they're going to have problems.

To vs. Too vs. Two

What's happening to me?
It's happening to me, too.
That makes two of us.

Who's vs. Whose

Who's that?
Whose is this?

You're vs. Your vs. Yore

You're right.
Is this your card?
This dates back to the days of yore.

Can you think of any others? Send them to me; if I get enough, I may write a follow-up.
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