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English Vocabulary

Words confused owing to faulty pronunciation

Certain words cause confusion due to faulty pronunciation. A few of them are given below. Note that the correct pronunciation is indicated by adding a well-known word in brackets which rhymes with the word whose pronunciation is often confused.

Floor (noun) [door] - part of the building on which one walks
Flour (noun) [shower] - finely ground cereal grains
Flower (noun) [shower] - coloured part of plants

  • She sat on the floor.
  • Biscuit is made of wheat flour.

Weak (adjective) [leak] - not strong or fit
Week (noun) [leak] - a period of seven days
Wick (noun) [sick] - a string or piece of fabric that draws fuel to the flame in a candle or oil lamp

  • A candle needs a wick.
  • He was too weak to stand up.
  • There are fifty-two weeks in a year.

Heir (noun) [air] - legal inheritor of something
Hair (noun) [care] - fine flexible strands growing on the head or body
Hare (noun) [care] - a fast running animal that resembles a rabbit

  • He is the heir to the throne.
  • Hair grows on our heads
  • A hare looks like a big rabbit.

Wonder (noun) [plunder] - amazed admiration, something marvelous
Wander (verb) [yonder] - travel without destination, leave a fixed path

  • Gypsies wander over the country.
  • I wonder why I failed to pass.

Advice (noun) [nice] - recommendation about action
Advise (verb) [eyes] - offer advice

  • I am tired of listening to advice.
  • The doctor advised him to quit smoking.

Leave (verb) [deceive] - depart
Live (verb) [give] - reside in a particular place

  • I leave home for work at 9 o'clock.
  • My parents live abroad.

Quite (adverb) [white] - entirely
Quiet (adjective or noun) [diet] - peaceful, making little noise, free from trouble

  • You are quite right.
  • I would like to lead a quiet life.
  • A sick man needs a quiet room.

Price (noun) [nice] - cost of something bought or sold
Prize (noun) [eyes] - award for winner

  • What is the price of that bag?
  • She got this bag as a prize.

Lose (verb) [choose] - fail to win, have something taken away
Loose (verb) [goose] - free, not fastened
Loose (adjective) [goose] - not tight or fitting

  • You will lose your dog, if you don't tie it up.
  • When he loosed his dog it ran away.
  • This knot is loose and it will soon come undone.

Taste (verb) [waste]
Test (verb) [nest]

  • The fish tasted awful.
  • He tested the food in the science laboratory.

Pore (noun) [door] - tiny openings in the skin through which sweat passes.

Pour (verb) [door]
Poor (adjective) [tour] - not rich

  • Many people in Africa are very poor.
  • He poured oil into the fire.
  • Holes in your skin are called pores.

Latter (adjective) [matter] - the second of two already named
Later (adverb) [waiter] - after a particular period of time
Letter (noun) [better]

  • A is tall, and B is short but the latter is stronger.
  • I will see you later.
  • The Post Office handles letters.

Bath (noun) [path]
Bathe (verb) [lathe]

  • We have a bath to clean our bodies.
  • We bathe to enjoy ourselves with no thought of cleanliness.


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