Easily Confused Words

Many words in the English language sound identical or similar to another word that means something entirely different. Don’t get caught out using the wrong word!

Here’s a short list of easily confused words:

Aid (help or assist) and aide (helper or assistant)
Bale (bundle) and bail (surety or security payment; to leave)
Chord (musical note) and cord (string or rope)
Disinterested (unbiased) and uninterested (not interested)
Explicit (unambiguous, exact or candid) and implicit (implied, complete or absolute)
Further (additional or promote/advance) and farther (beyond or to a more distant point)
Grisly (gruesome or macabre) and grizzly (wild animal – bear)
Horse (wild or domestic animal) and hoarse (croaky, gruff, husky, guttural or rasping)
Imminent (impending or looming) and eminent (renowned, important or distinguished)
Loath (unwilling or reluctant) and loathe (detest, hate or despise)
Morale (confidence or drive) and moral (ethical, honest, honourable or message)
Perpetuate (spread, maintain, or bring about) and perpetrate (do or be responsible for)
Rap (knock) and wrap (enclose; enfold)
Taut (tight) and taught (past tense of ‘teach’)
Voracious (insatiable, gluttonous or ravenous) and veracious (truthful)
Wrack (seaweed) and rack (shelf; torture instrument; experience guilt, remorse or pain)

In the below paragraph, there are 15 easily confused words used incorrectly. Until end November 2014, the first ten people who can point out all 15 words and what the correct word is will win a free copy of any one of Vanessa Finaughty’s ebooks from Smashwords (your choice which one, but note that the box set is excluded from this offer). To enter, please send an email to shadowfire13 @ gmail.com (remove spaces) titled ‘Easily Confused Words’ and format it as follows:

1. Aide – should be aid
2. Alter – should be altar

Michelle was walking down the isle when she realised for the first time that she didn’t really want to get married – not to James. Only three steps from the alter, she turned and fled. Later that day, her mother tried to diffuse the situation, but Michelle’s husband-to-be was disinterested. Michelle managed to allude James since then, and was not phased by all the drama. Quite frankly, she wished he could be hung. She had tried in the past to illicit the truth from him, but he had steadfastly refused to talk about his past. He had emigrated into the country ten years ago, and had leant plenty of money from her since then – in between ravaging her in the bedroom. That part, she hadn’t minded so much. Now that she thought about it, he had lead her on a bit, but she had learnt her lessen. She was loathe to see him again, but she needed the money back. There was a prophesy about her situation that her grandmother used to tell her, but she hadn’t believed it until now.

Note that the above paragraph is written using UK spelling, so words like ‘realised’ are not included as errors.


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