Words commonly confused
Its and it’s
These are surely the most confused words in English.
It’s an elephant. What is its colour? It’s black.
It’s means it is or it has. Its is a possessive word.
Abhorrent and aberrant
Abhorrent – hateful; Aberrant – abnormal
The abhorrent man was spurned by his neighbours for his aberrant behavior.
Access and excess
The students who seek access to the library are in excess of five hundred.
Adapt and adopt
No government should adopt policies that would require people to adapt to a weak economy.
Adolescents and adolescence
Adolescent – somebody in period preceding adulthood; adolescence – time preceding adulthood
The problem with most adolescents is that they don’t want to grow out of adolescence.
Advice and advise
Advice – noun; advise – verb
He gave me some advice. Can you advise me on this?
Aide and aid
Aide – assistant; aid – help, assistance
The actor’s aide immediately came to the aid of his boss.
Ambivalent and ambiguous
Ambivalent – unsure, indecisive; ambiguous – vague, unclear, confusing
She was displaying ambivalent feelings about the ambiguous situation, she had gotten herself into.
Appraise and apprise
Appraise – assess, value; apprise – tell, describe, acquaint
We have to get the building appraised by an engineer and then we will apprise you of its value.
Assent and ascent
Assent – agreement, approval; ascent – climb, rise
We must get the assent of the weather bureau before we can allow the balloon to begin its ascent.
Averse – opposed, hostile; adverse – unfavourable
The miners were averse to working in such adverse conditions.
A lot and allot
Allot – earmark, allocate
We will need a lot of money.
The supervisor will allot funds according to need.
Allude and elude
Allude – refer, mention; elude – escape, baffle, give somebody the slip
My uncle would often allude to an incident when he eluded the police who were after him.
Alleviate and ameliorate
Alleviate – ease, relieve; ameliorate – improve, better, enhance
This tablet should alleviate the pain.
The HR agency has taken several measures to ameliorate the job-seeking process.
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