Commonly Misused Words: 100+ Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases

Commonly Misused Words! English has a lot of commonly misused words. They either look alike, sound alike or, worst of all, look and sound alike but have completely different meanings. Other words look and sound different but are similar in meaning, and it’s hard to determine which is the correct one in a given context. Hopefully the following list of pairs of commonly misused words will help you keep them straightened out.

Homophones: Commonly Misused Words | Video

Commonly Misused Words in English

Accept vs. Except

  • accept (verb) – to receive
    He accepted the invitation to stay with us.
  • except (conjunction) – apart from; otherwise than; were it not true
    When Susan travels, she packs everything except the kitchen sink.

Affect vs. Effect

  • Affect (verb) – to have an effect on; influence; produce a change in; to stir the emotions
    Trading has been adversely affected by the downturn in consumer spending.
  • Effect (noun) – anything brought about by a cause or agent; result
    Eating junk food will eventually have an effect on your health.

Bad vs. Badly

  • Bad (adjective) – not good
    I have some bad news for you.
  • Badly (adverb) – not well; in a bad manner; harmfully; incorrectly; wickedly; unpleasantly
    The company has been very badly managed.

Breath vs. Breathe

  • Breath (noun) – air taken into the lungs and then let out
    Leo could smell the wine on her breath.
  • Breathe (verb) – to inhale and exhale
    The room filled with smoke, and it was becoming difficult to breathe.

Complement vs. Compliment

  • Complement (noun) – that which completes or brings to perfection; (verb) – to make complete
    We’ve taken our full complement of trainees this year.
  • Compliment (noun) – something said in admiration, praise, or flattery; (verb) – to pay a compliment to; congratulate
    All the guests paid her extravagant compliments.

Seen vs. Saw

  • Seen (verb) – past participle of the verb see; must be used with the verbs has, have, or had
    By mid-morning I had seen enough step wells and gonged enough bells to see me through lifetimes.
  • Saw (verb) – past tense of the verb see
    I saw the movie yesterday.

Principal vs. Principle

  • Principal (noun) – a governing or presiding officer, specifically of a school; (adjective) – first in rank, authority, importance, degree,…
    His comments on Paul Caton, the deputy principal, were gratuitously offensive.
  • Principle (noun) – a fundamental truth, law, doctrine, or motivating force, upon which others are based
    Schools try to teach children a set of principles.

Site vs. Sight

  • Sight (noun) – something seen, a view, field of vision
    She was a sight for sore eyes.
  • Site (noun) – a piece of land considered for a specific purpose
    The corner lot was a perfect site for the new shopping center.

To vs. Too vs. Two

  • To (preposition) – in the direction of and reaching; as far as; to the extent of
    She stood up and walked to the window.
  • Too (adverb) – in addition; as well; besides; also; more than enough; superfluously; overly; to a regrettable extent; extremely
    Do you think the music’s too loud?
  • Two (adjective) the number 2
    I’ll be away for almost two weeks.

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Muhammad kamruzzaman
Muhammad kamruzzaman
4 years ago

Write a comment *

Rumel Ahmed
Rumel Ahmed
3 years ago

Certainly helpful for us

Pavani Guntur
Pavani Guntur
3 years ago

Dessert and Desert : Pictures have been swapped. Please check this once to avoid confusion of readers.

Usha metre
Usha metre
11 months ago

I liked this page to learn better english

28 days ago

cherry cherry cheerry bonbon!

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