Commonly Confused Words

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 Its / It’s Lead / Led Lie / Lay Lose / Loose Novel Passed / Past Precede / Procede 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 ACCEPT-to receiveex: He accepts defeat well. EXCEPT-to take or leave outex: Please take all the books off the shelf except for the red one. AFFECT-to influenceex: Lack of sleep affects the quality of your work. EFFECT-n. , result, v. , to accomplishex: 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 referenceex:The professor made an allusion to Virginia Woolf’s work. ILLUSION-a false perception of realityex: They saw a mirage: that is a type of illusion one sees in the desert. ALL READY-preparedex: Dinner was all ready when the guests arrived. ALREADY-by this timeex: The turkey was already burned when the guests arrived. ALTOGETHER-entirelyex: Altogether, I thought that the student’s presentation was well planned. ALL TOGETHER-gathered, with everything in one placeex: We were all together at the family reunion last spring.

APART-to be separatedex: The chain-link fence kept the angry dogs apart. OR My old car fell apart before we reached California. A PART-to be joined withex: 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- climbex: The plane’s ascent made my ears pop. ASSENT-agreementex: The martian assented to undergo experiments. BREATH-noun, air inhaled or exhaledex: You could see his breath in the cold air. BREATHE-verb, to inhale or exhaleex: 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 meetsex: The governor announced his resignation in a speech given at the capitol today. CITE-to quote or documentex: I cited ten quotes from the same author in my paper. SIGHT-visionex: The sight of the American flag arouses different emotions in different parts of the world. SITE-position or placeex: The new office building was built on the site of a cemetery.
COMPLEMENT-noun, something that completes; verb, to completeex: A nice dry white wine complements a seafood entree. COMPLIMENT-noun, praise; verb, to praiseex: The professor complimented Betty on her proper use of a comma. CONSCIENCE-sense of right and wrongex: The student’s conscience kept him from cheating on the exam. CONSCIOUS-awakeex: I was conscious when the burglar entered the house. COUNCIL-a group that consults or advisesex: The men and women on the council voted in favor of an outdoor concert in their town. COUNSEL-to adviseex: The arole officer counseled the convict before he was released. ELICIT-to draw or bring outex: The teacher elicited the correct response from the student. ILLICIT-illegalex: The Columbian drug lord was arrested for his illicit activities. EMINENT-famous, respectedex: The eminent podiatrist won the Physician of the Year award. IMMANENT-inherent or intrinsicex: The meaning of the poem was immanent, and not easily recognized. IMMINENT-ready to take placeex: A fight between my sister and me is imminent from the moment I enter my house.
ITS-of or belonging to itex: The baby will scream as soon as its mother walks out of the room. IT’S-contraction for it isex: It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. LEAD-noun, a type of metalex: 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 winex: 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 releaseex: The burglar’s pants were so loose that he was sure to lose the race with the cop chasing him. x: 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 movedex:
The tornado passed through the city quickly, but it caused great damage. PAST-belonging to a former time or placeex: Who was the past president of Microsquish Computers? x: Go past the fire station and turn right. PRECEDE-to come beforeex: Pre-writing precedes the rough draft of good papers. PROCEED-to go forwardex: He proceeded to pass back the failing grades on the exam. PRINCIPAL-adjective, most important; noun, a person who has authorityex: 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 truthex: The study was based on the principle of gravity. QUOTE-verb, to citeex: I would like to quote Dickens in my next paper.
QUOTATION-noun, the act of citingex: 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 stillex: The accident was my fault because I ran into a stationary object. STATIONERY-writing paperex: 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 conjectureex: 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 comparisonsex: I would rather go out to eat than eat at the dining hall. THEN-at that time, or nextex: I studied for my exam for seven hours, and then I went to bed. THEIR-possessive form of theyex: 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 ofex: He plowed right through the other team’s defensive line.
THREW-past tense of throwex: She threw away his love love letters. THOROUGH-careful or completeex: John thoroughly cleaned his room; there was not even a speck of dust when he finished. THOUGH-however; neverthelessex: He’s really a sweetheart though he looks tough on the outside. THRU-abbreviated slang for through; not appropriate in standard writingex: We’re thru for the day! TO-towardex: I went to the University of Richmond. TOO-also, or excessivelyex: He drank too many screwdrivers and was unable to drive home. TWO-a numberex: Only two students did not turn in the assignment.
WHO-pronoun, referring to a person or personsex: 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 personsex: Which section of history did you get into? THAT-used to refer to things or a group or class of peopleex: 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 objectex: Whom did Sarah choose as her replacement? Back to ‘Commonly Confused Words’ or ‘Clarity and Style’Copyright 2010

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Commonly Confused Words
Just from $10/Page
Order Essay
Calculator

Calculate the price of your paper

Total price:$26
Our features

We've got everything to become your favourite writing service

Need a better grade?
We've got you covered.

Order your paper

Order your essay today and save 15% with the discount code ATOM