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Confused Pairs of Words

There are a lot of words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings,
as affect and effect or advise and advice. Its easy to get them confused.
Heres a quick-reference list of pairs of words that regularly cause people problems.
Word 1
Meaning
Word 2
Meaning
accept
to agree to receive or do
except
not including
advice
recommendations about what to do
advise
to recommend something
affect
to change or make a difference to
effect
a result; to bring about a result
all together
all in one place, all at once
altogether
completely; on the whole
along
moving or extending horizontally on
a long
referring to something of great length
already
by the time specified or before
all ready
completely prepared
among
refers to three or more objects or people
between
refers to two objects or people
anyone
Not specified
any one
refers to a specific person or object
born
having started life
borne
carried
brake
a device for stopping a vehicle; to stop a vehicle break
to separate into pieces; a pause
Can
cereal
compare to
complement
council
ensure
envelop
loose
meter
pole
practice

refers to ability
a breakfast food made from grains
point out resemblances
to add to so as to improve; an addition that
improves something
a group of people who manage or advise
to make certain that something will happen

may
serial
compare with
compliment

to cover or surround
to unfasten; to set free
a measuring device
a long, slender piece of wood
the use of an idea or method; the work or
business of a doctor, dentist, etc.
most important; the head of a school
the ability to see

envelope
lose
metre
poll
practise

counsel
insure

such

refers to permission
happening in a series
point out differences
to praise or express approval; an admiring
remark
advice; to advise
to provide compensation if a person dies or
property is damaged
a paper container for a letter
to be deprived of; to be unable to find
a metric unit; rhythm in verse
voting in an election
to do something repeatedly to gain skill; to
do something regularly
a fundamental rule or belief
a location

principal
principle
sight
site
To/Too/Two
To is a preposition or part of an infinitive. It introduces a prepositional phrase or comes before a verb. It often answers the
question where?
Too is an adverb meaning also or very.
Two is an adjective; it is the name of a number.
Quite/Quit/Quiet
Quite is an adverb meaning completely, very, or entirely. It rhymes with fight.
Quit is a verb meaning stop or cease. It rhymes with sit.
Quiet is an adjective meaning calm, silent, or noiseless. As a verb, it means soothe or calm. As a noun, it means
Peace/Piece
Peace is a noun meaning tranquility.
Piece as a noun means division or creation. As a verb, it means patch, repair.
Weak/Week
Weak is an adjective meaning flimsy, frail, or powerless.
Week is a noun meaning a period of seven days.
Which/Witch
Which is a pronoun dealing with choice. As an adverb, it introduces a subordinate (less important) clause.
Witch is a noun meaning sorceress or enchantress (a female sorcerer or magician).
By/Buy/Bye
By is a preposition used to introduce a phrase.
Buy is a verb meaning purchase; as a noun, it means bargain or deal.
Bye is an interjection used in place of goodbye.
Dear/Deer
Dear is an adjective meaning valued or loved.
Deer is a noun referring to an animal.
Weather/Whether Weather is a noun referring to the condition outside.
Whether is an adverb used when referring to a possibility.
Than/Then
Than is a conjunctive word used to make a comparison.

Then is an adverb telling when or meaning next.


Loose/Lose/Loss
Loose is an adjective meaning free, unrestrained, or not tight. It rhymes with goose.
Lose is a verb meaning misplace, to be defeated or fail to keep. It rhymes with shoes.
Loss is a noun meaning defeat, downturn, or the opposite of victory or gain. It rhymes with toss.