Commonly Confused Words in English You Should Know

Learn Commonly Confused Words in English! The English language is full of words that English learners – and even native English speakers – often confuse.

Commonly Confused Words in English

  • ACCEPT – Agree to receive or do vs. EXCEPT – Not including
  • ADVERSE – Unfavourable or harmful vs. AVERSE – Strongly dislike or opposed to
  • ADVICE – Recommendation of what to do vs. ADVISE – Recommend something
  • AFFECT – Change or make a difference to vs. EFFECT – A result or to bring about a result
  • AISLE – Passage between rows of seats vs. ISLE – An island
  • ALL TOGETHER – All in one place or all at once vs. ALTOGETHER – Completely or on the whole
  • ALONG – Moving or extending horizontally on vs. A LONG – Refers to something of great length
  • ALOUD – Out loud vs. ALLOWED – Permitted
  • ALTAR – Sacred table in a church vs. ALTER – To change something
  • AMORAL – Unconcerned with right or wrong vs. IMMORAL – Not follow moral standards
  • APPRAISE – To access vs. APPRAISE – Inform someone
  • ASSENT – Agree or approval vs. ASCENT – Rising or climbing up
  • AURAL – Relating to ears or hearing vs. ORAL – Relates to the mouth or spoken word
  • BALMY – Pleasingly warm vs. BARMY – Foolish or crazy
  • BARE – be naked or to uncover vs. BEAR – To carry or put up with something
  • BATED – Hold in a great suspense vs. BAITED – With bait attached
  • BAZAAR – A market in the Middle East vs. BIZARRE – Strange
  • BERTH – A sleeping bunk in a ship or train vs. BIRTH – Emergence of a baby from a womb
  • BORN – Having started a life vs. BORNE – Carried
  • DISINTERESTED – Impartial vs. UNINTERESTED – Not interested
  • DRAUGHT – Current of air vs. DRAFT – First version of a piece of writing
  • DRAW – Even score at the end of game vs. DRAWER – Sliding storage compartment
  • DUAL – Having two parts vs. DUEL – Contest between two participants
  • ELICIT – Draw out a reply or reaction vs. ILLICIT – Not allowed by law or against rules
  • ENSURE – Make certain something happens vs. INSURE – Pre-arrange to get compensation
  • ENVELOP – Cover or surround something vs. ENVELOPE – Paper container for a letter
  • EXERCISE – Physical activity vs. EXORCISE – Drive out an evil spirit
  • FAWN – Young deer or light brown colour vs. FAUN – A goat with a human head, which is considered harmless
  • FLAUNT – Display ostentatiously vs. FLOUT – Disregard a rule or law
  • FLOUNDER – Move clumsily or have difficulty vs. FOUNDER – Starter of something or metal caster
  • FORBEAR – Refrain from something vs. FOREBEAR – Ancestor
  • FOREWORD – Introduction at start of a book vs. FORWARD – Onwards or ahead
  • FREEZE – Turn into ice vs. FRIEZE – Decoration along a wall
  • GRISLY – Gruesome or revolting vs. GRIZZLY – Type of bear
  • HOARD – Stock or stash of money or things vs. HORDE – Large crowd of people
  • IMPLY – Indirectly suggest something vs. INFER – Draw a conclusion from
  • LOATH – Reluctant or unwilling vs. LOATHE – To hate someone or something
  • LOOSE – Set free or unfasten vs. LOSE – Be deprived of or fail to win
  • BOW – Front of a ship or to bend the head vs. BOUGH – Branch of a tree
  • BREAK – Pause or separate into pieces vs. BRAKE – Device for stopping something
  • BREECH – Back parts of a gun barrel vs. BREACH – Break through or break a rule
  • BROOCH – Piece of jewellery vs. BROACH – Raise a subject for discussion
  • CANVASS – Seek someone’s vote vs. CANVAS – Strong type of cloth
  • SERIAL – Happening in a series vs. CEREAL – Breakfast food or edible grain
  • CLIMATIC – Relating to the climate vs. CLIMACTIC – Creating a climax
  • COURSE – Direction, school subject, part of meal vs. COARSE – Rough or uneven
  • COMPLIMENT – Express approval or admiring remark vs. COMPLEMENT – Something added that improves
  • COUNSEL – Advice or to advise vs. COUNCIL – Group that manages or advised
  • QUEUE – Row of people or vehicle vs. CUE – Signal to act or a wooden rod
  • CURRENT – Happening now, flow of fluid/electricity vs. CURRANT – Dried grape
  • DESSERT – Sweet course of a meal vs. DESERT – Waterless, empty area or abandon

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2 years ago

Very useful..Thank you so much..

Tim H
Tim H
2 years ago

Appraise = *To measure or evaluate
*Apprise = To inform someone

Diwakar Gautam
Diwakar Gautam
9 months ago

Words are confusing not confused.

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