Confusing Words in English

Confusing Words in English

The English language has many confusing words. Some words may look alike; some may sound alike, or some may sound and look alike. However similar these sounds are they may have different meanings and origins. Confusing these words is a very easy mistake to make. Such easily confused words are one of the major challenges faced by English learners as well as native English speakers.

Words that sound alike

Words that have identical pronunciation are known as homophones in linguistics. Although these words sound alike, they have different spellings and meanings. Stair and stare, feet and feat, right and write, waist and waste are some examples of homophones.

Words that look alike

Words that have identical spellings, but different meanings are known as homographs. Read, wound, right, etc. are some examples of homographs.

Words that look and sound alike

Words that look and sound are the trickiest of all. There is often no way to identify the difference other than looking at the context.

In addition, there are also some words that have minor differences in spellings and pronunciation and major differences in meaning. These kinds of words also confuse many of use.Confusing Words in English

All in all, confusing words are one of the trickiest areas in a language. This is why we have compiled these easily confused words as a list. You can browse through these word pairs and find more information about their meaning, function and the usage.

Adapt vs Adopt

Advice vs Advise

Adverse vs Averse

Aisle vs Isle

Affect vs Effect

Affirm vs Confirm

Allowed vs Aloud

Already vs All Ready

Altar vs Alter

Alternate vs Alternative

Amend vs Emend

Among vs Amongst 

Amoral vs Immoral

Apart vs A part

Assent vs Ascent

Assume vs Presume

Aural vs Oral

Bath vs Bathe

Belief vs Believe 

Breath vs Breathe

Brought vs Bought 

Born vs Borne

Cite vs Site

Capital vs Capitol

Classic vs Classical

Complain vs Complaint

Compliment vs Complement

Chose vs Choose

Cord vs Chord

Desert vs Dessert 

Discreet vs Discrete

Dual vs Duel

Elicit vs Illicit

Emigrant vs Immigrant

Epic vs Epoch

Fair vs Fare

Farther vs Further

Few vs a few

Flair vs Flare

Forego vs Forgo

Imminent vs Eminent

In vs Inside

Incident vs Incidence

Invoke vs Evoke

Into vs In To

Lay vs Lie

Laying vs Lying

Later vs Latter

Led vs Lead

Life vs Live

Little vs a little 

Light vs Lite

Look and See

Lose vs Loss

Lose vs Loose

Madam vs Madame

Make vs Madame

My vs Mine

Non vs None

Optimum vs Optimal 

Pale vs Pail

Plain vs Plane

Prerequisite vs Requisite 

Practise vs Practice

Principal vs Principle

Proceed vs Precede

Proof vs Prove

Quiet vs Quiet 

Rise vs Raise

Rise vs Arise

Rite vs Right

Right vs Wright

Safe vs Save

Sleep vs Asleep

Spend vs Spent

Stationary vs Stationery

Suit vs Suite

Sore vs Soar

Sort vs Sought

Their vs There

Then vs Than

Threw vs Through

Wave vs Waive

Wander vs Wonder

Weather vs Whether

While vs Whilst

Who’s vs Whose

Your vs You’re

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