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Commonly Confused Words in English You Should Know

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It’s hard to deny the fact that the English language has a lot of commonly confused words. They either look alike, sound alike or, worst of all, look and sound alike (but have completely different meanings). Here is a collection of some of the commonly misused words that you often encounter.

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

Commonly Confused Words

  • 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

Commonly Confused Words | Images

Commonly Confused Words in English

Often Confused Words

Commonly Misused Words You Should Know

Commonly Confused Words

List of Commonly Confused Words

Confused Words in English


Diwakar Gautam

Monday 4th of April 2022

Words are confusing not confused.

Tim H

Saturday 21st of November 2020

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


Monday 31st of August 2020

Very useful..Thank you so much..