List of Most Commonly Used Confused Words

Confusing Words Eduhyme

The following list of the most commonly confused words can improve your writing by showing you how to avoid such errors. As you read it, take note of those you have used incorrectly.

You may want to write them down, along with a couple of sentences in which you use them correctly. In your essay writing, pay careful attention to the denotative meaning of every word you use.

Confused Words Definition
a lot (noun): many
allot (verb): to give or share in arbitrary amounts
accept (verb): to recognize
except (prep.): excluding
access (noun, verb): means of approaching; to approach
excess (noun, adj.): extra
addition (noun): increase
edition (noun): an issue of a book or newspaper
advice (noun): a recommended opinion
advise (verb): to give advice; inform
affect (verb): to influence
effect (noun): result
effect (verb): to bring about
all ready (adj.): completely prepared
already (adv.): by or before a specified or implied time
all together (adj.): in a group; in unison
altogether (adv.): completely or thoroughly
allude (verb): to refer to something not specifically mentioned
elude (verb): to escape notice or detection
ascent (noun): the act of climbing or rising
assent (verb): to agree or accept a proposal or opinion
assure (verb): to make certain (assure someone)
ensure (verb): to make certain
insure (verb): to secure from harm; to secure life or property in case of loss
beside (adj.): next to
besides (adv.): in addition to
bibliography (noun): list of writings
biography (noun): a life story
capital (noun): money invested; a town or city where the government sits
capitol (noun): a government building
choose (verb): to select
chose (verb): the past tense of choose
cite (verb): to acknowledge; to quote as a reference
sight (noun): the ability to see; vision
site (noun): a place or location
complement (noun): match
compliment (noun, verb): praise; to give praise
consul (noun): an official appointed by the government to live in a foreign city and attend to the interests of the official’s country
council (noun): a group of people called together to provide advice
counsel (noun, verb): advice; to give advice
continual (adj.): taking place in close succession
continuous (adj.): without break or let up
cooperation (noun): assistance, help
corporation (noun): type of business organization
decent (adj.): well-mannered
descent (noun): decline, fall
dissent (noun): disagreement
desert (noun): arid, sandy region
dessert (noun): sweet served after a meal
disburse (verb): to pay
disperse (verb): to spread out
disinterested (adj.): no strong opinion either way
uninterested (adj.): don’t care
elicit (verb): to stir up
illicit (adj.): illegal
envelop (verb): to surround; to cover completely
envelope (noun): flat paper container for letters or other documents
farther (adv.): beyond
further (adj.): additional
flack (noun, verb): press agent (noun); to act as a press agent (verb)
flak (noun): criticism
forth (adv.): forward, onward
fourth (adj.): next in number after the third
hear (verb): to perceive by the ear
here (adv.): in this or at this place
hoard (verb): to collect and keep
horde (noun): a huge crowd
imply (verb): to hint or suggest
infer (verb): to assume, deduce
loose (adj.): not restrained, not fastened
lose (verb): to fail to win; be deprived of
loath (adj.): reluctant
loathe (verb): to feel hatred for
medal (noun): a badge of honor
meddle (verb): to interfere
metal (noun): a mineral substance
passed (verb): the past tense of past
past (adj.): finished; gone by
personal (adj.): individual
personnel (noun): employees
principal (adj.): main
principal (noun): person in charge
principle (noun): standard
quiet (adj.): still; calm
quit (verb): to stop; to discontinue
quite (adv.): very; fairly; positively
stationary (adj.): not moving
stationery (noun): writing paper
taught (verb): the past tense of teach
taut (adj.): tight
than (conj., prep.): in contrast to
then (adv.): next
their (pronoun): belonging to them
there (adv.): in a place
they’re: contraction for they are
to (prep.): in the direction of
too (adv.): also; excessively
two (adj.): the number after one
weather (noun, verb): atmospheric conditions; to last or ride out
whether (conj.): if it be the case; in either case
who (pronoun): substitute for he, she, or they
whom (pronoun): substitute for him, her, or them
your (pronoun): belonging to you
you’re: contraction for you are


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