English Language Skills

Do you need help with your English language skills

Print Reference This Reddit This

Confusing Words

Common examples of Confusing Words

Confusing words are usually words that sound very similar but have different meanings and spellings, usually called homophones or homonyms. Examples of these would be the different spellings of 'there', 'where' and 'here'. The reason these are included in a grammar guide is that their spelling is determined by their grammatical usage. To cite one example, 'were', three spellings are in common usage:

(There is also a fourth, additional spelling, the abbreviation of 'we are' i.e. we're.)

A great any people have difficulty with these homophonic words and there is no special secret to how to overcome this, it is simply a matter of learning the spellings in their different grammatical contexts.

Another example of confusing words, however, is when two similar words are used incorrectly. For example, many people think that the words 'imply' and 'infer' are synonymous but they are not:

Another example the words 'affect' and 'effect':

Yet another grammatical confusion is when writers think that nouns and verbs have interchangeable spelling. For example, this occurs in the words 'practice' and ‘practise'; they are commonly assumed to be the same, whereas in fact, 'practice’ is a noun and 'practise' is a verb. Hence:

Clearly, these words are easily confused, and there are far too many to go into every one here, but it is essential that you learn the correct grammatical application of each if you are to achieve the highest grades in your essays so if you have had trouble with a particular word or words then make sure you find out the correct grammatical spelling of confusing words.

Need help with your grammar?

Are you struggerling to write an essay with the correct grammar? Our researchers are here to help. Find out more by clicking on the link below:

Essay writing service