Forum
Community Forum
Today's Posts
FAQ & Rules
Members List

Writing
Writing Forum
Recent Posts
Critique Guidelines

Groups
YWO Social Groups
Facebook
Myspace

Chat
 
YWA

Register

Store
Support YWO
YWO Merchandise
The Book Despository
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.co.uk (UK)
Amazon.ca (Canada)

SBS Mag


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-28-2007, 04:54 AM View Post #1 (Link) Commonly Confused Words
Andy (Offline)
Administrator
 
Andy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: At home
Posts: 2,478
Points: 32
Times Thanked: 99
Since the English language is derived from all sorts of places, it has lots of words that sound similar to other words. Sometimes they even have similar meanings! Even then, the words cannot be interchanged. This guide will identify some of the more common ones, and keep their confusion out of your writing.

Many similar-sounding words are not listed here. They were omitted because both are rarely used, or because one is rarely used, and knowing it would probably result in more confusion than benefit.

Affect vs Effect

Affect is a verb. It means “make a difference to”.
The loud music affected my ability to study.
Effect can be either a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means "a result."
The side effects of the drug can be serious.
Effect is used less often as a verb. As a verb, it means to “bring about” or “accomplish.”
The child’s persistence and hard work effected his victory in the competition.

Amoral vs Immoral

Amoral means “not concerned with morality” or “having no moral standards.”
Chocolate candies, for all practical purposes, are amoral.
Immoral means “not conforming to established standards of morality.”
Theft and murder are immoral.

Appraise vs Apprise

To appraise means to “assess” or "estimate."
She decided to have her property's value appraised.
Apprise means “to inform.”
The soldier apprised the king of the invaders.

Climactic vs Climatic

Climactic refers to a climax.
In most stories, the ending is the most climactic part.
Climatic refers to climate or temperature.
Thermometers are climatic.
Memory Tip: Climax and climactic both have a “k” sound after the “ma”. Climate and climatic do not.


Complement vs Compliment

Both can be either nouns or verbs.

As a noun, complement means “something that completes or makes better.”
Your green shoes are a nice complement to your green dress.
As a verb, complement means "to complete or make better."
The green shoes complemented the dress.
As a noun, a compliment is “an expression of gratitude or praise.”
I receive many compliments about the high quality of my work.
As a verb, compliment means "to express gratitude or praise."
The customer complimented me for the quality of my work.
Memory Tip: Complement is similar to complete, and means to complete something.


Continuous vs Continual

Something that is continuous is “uninterrupted.” It refers to a single, long action.
The river’s movement was continuous, never stopping.
Continual, on the other hand, indicates something that happens repeatedly, on numerous separate occasions.
The airlines have been experiencing continual delays lately.

Council vs Counsel
Councillor vs Counselor (Counsellor)


A council is a government body.
In two days, the council will convene again.
Similarly, a councilor is a member of a council.
The councilors will meet in two days.

Counsel (noun) means "advice or guidance."
The boy gave his younger brother counsel on how to play better.
Counsel can also be a verb that means "to give advice or guidance."
The doctor counseled his patient regarding the medication.
A counselor (spelled counsellor in Britain and other locations), is a person who gives guidance.
The student met with his counselor to discuss what classes to take.
Credible vs Creditable

Credible means “capable of being believed or trusted.”
“His story was credible; it made sense and he had an honest reputation.”
Creditable (think “credit-able”) means “deserving or causing honor or credit”.
“Her hard work was creditable; she received a raise.”

Defuse vs Diffuse

Defuse means to de-fuse, to remove the fuse from something such as an explosive device. Similarly, it means to reduce the danger or tension in a tense situation. When used without a direct object, it means to grow weaker.
“Matt defused the bomb.”
“Megan and the rest of the police defused the situation before anyone could get hurt.”
“The monster defused, and fighting it became much easier.”
Diffuse means to “spread out or scatter.”
“When the elevator door opened, everyone diffused into the larger space.”

Desert vs Dessert

Desert: an arid place, or any place where little life can exist

Dessert: a delicious treat

Memory Tip: A dessert is twice as good as the desert.


Egoism vs Egotism

Egotism means “excessive conceit or self-absorption, selfishness” (adjective - egotistic).
The egotistic child never shared his toys.
Egoism is the belief that self-interest motivate all people’s actions (adjective - egoistic).
Egoism says that a person’s actions, no matter how selfless they may seem, are always done out of self-interest.
Memory Tip: Egotism has one thin "T" in it, and it describes a single person.


Exceptional vs Exceptionable

Exceptional means “being an exception, uncommon,” or “above average, extraordinary.”
"His hard work was exceptional; he was given a raise, too."
Exceptionable means “open to debate, causing disapproval or offense.”
"Whether or not God exists is an exceptionable topic in many people's minds."
Memory Tip: If someone is able to take exception (offense) to something, then it is exception-able.


Farther vs Further

Farther indicates physical advancement in distance.
He traveled farther through the desert.
Further is more flexible. It denotes advancement or progress to a greater degree, but not distance. It can also be a synonym for "additional".
If gas prices rise any further, our economy will be in trouble!

This is a topic that needs further discussion.
Memory Tip: Remember, "far" refers to distance, and so does "farther".


Fawn vs Faun

A fawn is a young deer.

A faun is a creature that is part man, part goat. (like Mr. Tumnus)


Forego vs Forgo

Forego means “precede.”
As usual, dinner will forego dessert.
Forgo mean "to go without."
Since we cannot carry much, we will forgo anything that is not absolutely necessary.
Memory Tip: FOREgo is similar to "beFORE."


Its vs It's

Its describes when something possesses something else.
Find the bomb and cut its red cord!
It’s is a contraction for “it is" or "it has." Like all contractions, it needs an apostrophe.
It’s such a beautiful day!

It's been a long time since we last met.

Ordinance vs Ordnance

Ordinance means an authoritative order or regulation.
The dictator issued an ordinance that required everyone to give him gifts on a regular basis.
Ordnance refers to military material such as guns, combat vehicles, and equipment.
Quality of an army's ordnance is one of many things that can affect a battle.

Perquisite vs Prerequisite

Perquisite refers to “a special right of privilege enjoyed as a result of one’s position” or “a tip, gratuity.”
Expensive dinners were just one of the mayor's many perquisites.
A prerequisite is something that is required as a prior condition for something else.
The prerequisite for taking Calculus II is to complete Calculus I.
Memory Tip: Perquisite sounds like "perk." Prerequisite has the prefix "pre," means before.


Tortuous vs Torturous

Tortuous means “having or marked by repeated turns and bends.”
The river was tortuous; behind every bend was another bend.
Torturous means “of, relating to, or causing pain and suffering.”
The enemy used torturous methods on its prisoners to keep them quiet.
Memory Tip: TORTURous is a related form of "TORTURe" (But you knew that)


Unsociable vs Unsocial vs Antisocial

Unsociable means “not enjoying the company of others, reserved.”
The unsociable boy had a hard time starting conversations with other people.
Unsocial means “showing a lack of desire for the company of others”
I think he’s unsocial; he’s always moving to the corner with the fewest people.
Antisocial means “shunning or hostile to the company of others or society in general” or “rude.”
His antisocial behavior lost him many friends, while gaining him many enemies.

Your vs You're (Thanks to seikoXchan for this addition)

"Your" is the possessive form of "you."
You left your book at school.
You're is a contraction for "you are."
You're going to get in trouble.

  
						Last edited by Andy; 09-05-2009 at 08:20 PM.
					
					Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 10:22 PM View Post #2 (Link)
seikoXchan (Offline)
Literary Artist
 
seikoXchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 210
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 14
Your vs You're

Your means the possessive form of you.
You left your book at school.
You're means you are.
You're going to get in trouble.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 10:26 PM View Post #3 (Link)
Nyx (Offline)
Wordsmith
 
Nyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,737
Points: 26
Times Thanked: 142
I didn't honestly read all of that but the ones I read were very useful. Also tiny typo that could be confusing, you might want to fix it:

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Climactic vs Climatic

Climactic refers to a climax. In most stories, the ending is the most climatic part.

Climatic refers to climate or temperature. Thermometers are climatic.

Just remember, climax and climactic both have a “k” sound after the “ma”. Climate and climatic do not.

[/INDENT]
__________________
PM for critiques and help? Yes, you may.
~~~~~~
Originally Posted by Diocletian View Post
What I don't like about this site is that there isn't enough social drama.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 10:52 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Andy (Offline)
Administrator
 
Andy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: At home
Posts: 2,478
Points: 32
Times Thanked: 99
Thanks, both of you. Added "you're/your" and fixed the typo. Possibly one of the more devastating typos I've
typed.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 10:52 PM View Post #5 (Link)
Nyx (Offline)
Wordsmith
 
Nyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,737
Points: 26
Times Thanked: 142
Haha no problem. You know I'm always here to point out admins' mistakes.
__________________
PM for critiques and help? Yes, you may.
~~~~~~
Originally Posted by Diocletian View Post
What I don't like about this site is that there isn't enough social drama.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 11:26 PM View Post #6 (Link)
seikoXchan (Offline)
Literary Artist
 
seikoXchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 210
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 14
Cool, and nice going, Nyx! I would've passed that up.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2008, 11:59 PM View Post #7 (Link)
Andy (Offline)
Administrator
 
Andy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: At home
Posts: 2,478
Points: 32
Times Thanked: 99
Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
Haha no problem. You know I'm always here to point out admins' mistakes.
Evil motives for a good cause. Haha.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2008, 09:53 PM View Post #8 (Link)
Shaun (Offline)
Dead Person
 
Shaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 5,691
Points: 11.33
Times Thanked: 142
Someone stole this from a website .
__________________
The Viking Amoeba Army is here! Run for your lives!

Tumblr!

Read my published fiction and non-fiction!

And check out The World in the Satin Bag novel podcast. Help me become rich and donate!

My Random Stuff:
--The World in the Satin Bag: My science fiction, fantasy, and writing blog!
--Check out Cheese & Crackers Original and Cheese & Crackers Superheroes
--The Skiffy and Fanty Show
--Duke and Zink Do America (Political Podcast)

YWO Stuff:
--Buy Survival By Storytelling Magazine (Issue One is available!) Support fellow YWO writers!
--And don't forget to buy something from YWO's Zazzle Store!
--Follow YWO on Twitter.

Spoiler:
This is a call to arms, gather soldiers,
Time to go to war.
This is a battle song, brothers and sisters,
Time to go to war.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 12:39 AM View Post #9 (Link)
seikoXchan (Offline)
Literary Artist
 
seikoXchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 210
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 14
Right and Write

They're, There, and Their

[I have no time to put definitions; sorry... some people STILL misuse these! Sad, isn't it?]
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2009, 02:51 PM View Post #10 (Link)
zapped4ever (Offline)
Literary Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Points: 5
Times Thanked: 0
Mete Vs Meet

Mete means to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole (usually fol. by out): to mete out punishment.

Meet means...err...is it necessary?
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools

 


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:14 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 - Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All writing Copyright © its author(s). All other material Copyright © 2007-2012 Young Writers Online unless otherwise specified.
Managed by Andrew Kukwa (Andy) and Shaun Duke (Shaun) from The World in the Satin Bag. Design by HTWoRKS.