Words Causing Confusion


English has plenty of confusing words. Correct use of some of the most common among them are given below.

Compliment (noun) – expression of approval, admiration etc.

Complement (noun) – that which makes something complete

Medal (noun) – flat piece of metal given as an award or made to commemorate an event
Meddle (verb) – interfere with other’s things

Affect (verb) – have an effect on
Effect (noun) – result
Effect (verb) – bring about, cause to happen

Prophesy (verb) – say what will happen in the future
Prophecy (noun) – power of telling what will happen in the future

Stationary (adjective) – not moving or changing
Stationery (noun) – writing-materials

Dependant (noun) – somebody who depends upon another for a home, food etc.
Dependent (adjective) – depending

Licence (noun) – permission to do something
License (verb) – give permission to

Disease (noun) – illness of body, mind
Decease (noun) – death

Difference (noun)
Deference (noun) – respect

Assent (noun) – give one’s agreement to
Ascent (noun) – way up

Illicit (adjective) – unlawful
Elicit (verb) – get an answer from somebody

Eminent (adjective) – distinguished
Imminent (adjective) – likely to come or happen soon

Illusion (noun) – false idea or belief
Allusion (noun) – hint

President (noun) – head of a state or organization
Precedent (noun) – taken as an example of or as a rule for what comes later

Adverse (adjective) – hostile
Averse (adjective) – harbouring dislike to

Accelerate (verb) – increase the speed
Expedite (verb) – assist and hasten the progress of

Application (noun) – the process of applying, enforcement
Implication (noun) – meaning implied but not explicitly stated

Ancient (adjective) – very old
Antique (adjective) – old-fashioned

Apprehend (verb) – grasp, get a hold on the meaning of a thing
Comprehend (verb) – understand fully

Amiable (adjective) – lovable
Amicable (adjective) – friendly

Adapt (verb) – make something suitable to or for a purpose
Adopt (verb)

Avert (verb) – turn away, ward off
Invert (verb) – turn upside down

Advise (verb)
Advice (noun)

Affection (noun) – love
Affectation (noun) – pretence

Canvas (noun)
Canvass (verb) – request votes

Childlike (adjective) – like a child
Childish (adjective) – immature

Congenial (adjective) – suitable, agreeable
Congenital (adjective) – from birth

Capture (verb) – seize
Captivate (verb) – fascinate

Compliment (noun) – expression of regard
Complement (adjective) – that which completes

Confident (adjective) – sure
Confidential (adjective) – trusted, secret

Comprehensive (adjective) – exhaustive
Comprehensible (adjective) – understandable

Confirm (verb) – ratify
Conform (adjective) – comply with

Eligible (adjective) – qualified
legible (adjective) –readable

Facilitate (verb) – make easy
Felicitate (verb) – congratulate

Graceful (adjective) – full of grace
Gracious (adjective) – full of kindness

Industrial (adjective) – pertaining to industry
Industrious (adjective) – hard-working

Ingenuous (adjective) – frank, open
Ingenious (adjective) – clever