Top 30+ Easily Confused Words in English

Commonly Confused Words. Many English learners are confused about words that sound and look alike...


  • bough – bow

bough: branch of a tree

bow: front of a ship or to bend the head

  • brake – break

brake: device for stopping something

break: pause or separate into pieces

  • breach – breech

breach: break through of break a rule

breech: back part of a gun barrel

  • broach – brooch

broach: raise a subject for discussion

brooch: piece of jewellery

  • canvas – canvass

canvas: strong type of cloth

canvass: seek someone’s vote

  • censure – censor

censure: strongly criticise

censor: ban something or someone who does

  • cereal – serial

cereal: breakfast food or edible grain

serial: happening in a series

  • chord – cord

chord: group or musical notes

cord: length of string

  • climactic – climatic

climactic: creating a climax

climatic: relating to the climate

  • coarse – course

coarse: rough or uneven

course: direction, school subject, part of meal

  • draught - draft

- draught: current of air

- draft: first version of a piece of writing

  • draw - drawer

- draw: even score at the end of a game

- drawer: sliding storage compartment

  • dual - duel

- dual: having two parts

- duel: contest between two participants

  • elicit - illicit

- elicit: draw out a reply or reaction

- illicit: not allowed by law or against rules

  • ensure - insure

- ensure: make certain something happens

- insure: pre-arrange to get compensation

  • envelop - envelope

- envelop: cover or surround something

- envelope: paper container for a letter

  • exercise - exorcise

- exercise: physical activity

- exorcise: drive out an evil spirit

  • fawn - faun

- fawn: young deer or light brown colour

- faun: mythical part man part goat being

  • flaunt - flout

- flaunt: display ostentatiously

- flout: disregard a rule or law

  • forbear - forebear

- forbear: refrain from something

- forebear: ancestor

  • complacent - complaisant

- complacent: smug or self-satisfied

- complaisant: willing to please

  • complement - compliment

- complement: something added that improves

- compliment: express approval or admiring remark

  • council - counsel

- council: group that manages or advises

- counsel: advice or to advise

  • cue - queue

- cue: signal to act or a wooden rod

- queue: row of people or vehicles

  • curb - kerb

- curb: limit or keep something in check

- kerb: stone edge of pavement

  • currant - current

- currant: dried grape

- current: happening now, flow of fluid/ eclectricity

  • defuse - diffuse

- defuse: make a situation less tense

- diffuse: spread over wide area

  • desert - dessert

- desert: waterless, empty area or abandon

- dessert: sweet course of a meal

  • discreet - discrete

- discreet: careful not to attract attention

- discrete: separate and distinct

  • disinterested - uninterested

- disinterested: impartial

- uninterested: not interested

  • foreword - forward

- foreword: introduction at start of a book

- forward: onwards or ahead

  • freeze - frieze

- freeze: turn into ice

- frieze: decoration along a wall

  • grisly - grizzly

- grisly: gruesome or revolting

- grizzly: type of bear

  • hoard - horde

- hoard: stock or stash of money or things

- horde: large crowd of people

  • imply - infer

- imply: indirectly suggest something

- infer: draw a conclusion from

  • loath - loathe

- loath: reluctant or unwilling

- loathe: to hate someone or something

  • loose - lose

- loose: set free or unfasten

- lose: be deprived of or fail to win

  • bazaar - bizarre

- bazaar: a market in the Middle East

- bizarre: strange

  • amoral - immoral

- amoral: unconcerned with right or wrong

- immoral: not following moral standards

  • balmy - barmy

- balmy: pleasingly warm

- barmy: foolish or crazy

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