Words commonly confused – part II
Break and brake
Don’t keep pushing on that car brake. You will break it.
Breath and breathe
Breath – noun; breathe – verb
Take a deep breath.
Breathe deeply. (NOT Breath deeply.)
Censure and censor
Censure (verb) – criticize, condemn; censor (verb) – edit, gag, repress
The award winning film director censured the censor board because it tried to censor his latest film.
Complement and compliment
Complement (verb) – complete, add; compliment (noun) – praise, accolade
I complimented her on the way her hairstyle complemented her looks.
Confound and compound
Confound (verb) – confuse, perplex, baffle; compound – multiple
The manager’s ambiguous instructions confounded the staff.
Our problems were compounded by a lack of time to finish the work.
Dissent, decent and descent
Dissent (noun) – opposition, disagreement; decent (adjective) – polite, honest; descent (noun) – ancestry, origin, lineage, drop, plunge
After spending an entire evening in the terrace, we began our descent to the ground floor.
No one offered any dissent.
Conscious and conscience
Conscious (adjective) – aware, mindful; conscience (noun) – integrity, principles
You should never trust a man who has no conscience.
She doesn’t seem conscious of the fact that her husband is cheating on her.
Contemptuous and contemptible
Contemptuous – scornful, disapproving, derisive; contemptible – shameful, disgraceful
It didn’t take me a long time to grow contemptuous of his contemptible nature.
Continual and continuous
Continual (adjective) – frequent, recurrent; continuous – incessant, unceasing, nonstop
These continual changes in the weather are a result of our continuous emission of greenhouse gases.
- Words commonly confused
- Prepositions before particular words and expressions
- Academic word list – Analyse / analyze
- Linking words: on the contrary; on the other hand
- Linking words: anyway; anyhow; at any rate
- IELTS vocabulary – note on the use of adjectives and adverbs
- Linking words: generalising
- Linking words: as a matter of fact, in fact, actually, to tell the truth