Commonly Confused Words • Some words that are spelleddifferently but sound exactly the same. • Some words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently. • Some words that do not share the same spelling or pronunciation but are often confused. • These are your commonly confused words.
1. Commonly Confused Words - Homonyms Words that are spelleddifferently but sound exactly the same. • Homonyms • Its / It’s • To / Two / Too • There / Their / They’re • Then /Than
Example One : Its and It’s • ITS: the possessive pronoun • IT’S: the contraction (short for it is). It’scommon for the cat to lickitsclaws.
Example Two: To, Too, and Two • TO • preposition • Walk to the car (toward) • infinitive indicator • To skate • TOO can mean also or indicate degree • TWO is the number following one Thetwogirls wantedtogotothe skating rinktoo, but it was too late.
Example Three: Their , They’re, and There • THEIR: (possessive pronoun) Belonging to them • THEY’RE: (contraction) They are • THERE:(adv) At or in that place (primary def.) They’releavingtheirtired dog overthere.
Example Four: Then and Than • Than is a conjunction used in comparisons • Then is an adverb denoting time. Bob noticed that some pigeons were much bigger thanothers andthenhe realized they weren’t pigeons at all!
Example Five: principal, principle • As a noun, principal means "head" or "chief;" as an adjective, "highest" or "best.“ • Principle means "basic truth, law, or assumption." Principle is NEVER an adjective. • The principal author gave the lecture. He acts according to the highest principles.
2. Commonly Confused Words - Same Verbs with Different Sounds Words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently. • Life / Live • Everyday / Every day
Example One: Life and Live These words can get very complicated. • LIFE (long vowel sound like pie) is a noun, whose plural is LIVES (long vowel sound) • LIVE is a verb (short vowel sound like in) and the singular present tense of that verb is LIVES (also short vowel sound) • LIVE (with the long vowel like pie) is an adjective that is short for alive. In hislife, the doctor saved manylives. I livein Miami, but my brotherlivesin Tampa. I love to watch Saturday NightLive.
Example Two: Every Day and Everyday To determine which one of these is appropriate, ask yourself whether you want to say each day or whether you are looking for an adjective that means common or ordinary. Every dayis special. Don’t weigh yourself down witheverydayconcerns.
3. Commonly Confused Words – Different Words Some words that do not share the same spelling or pronunciation but are often confused. • affect, effect • assure, ensure, insure
Example One - affect, effect • To affect is to influence or change. • To effect is to bring about. An effect is a result or an influence. • Ingesting alcohol affects her driving competence. Margaritas effect an undesirable change in his personality; he shouts and tells you that they have no effect on his speech. • NOTE: "Impact" is frequently and inappropriately used as a verb; "affect" is a better choice. • These cuts impact our project. • These cuts affect our project.
Example Two: assure, ensure, insure • Assure means "to convince," "to guarantee." • Insure means "to guard against loss." • Ensure means "to make certain." • Assure and ensure are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. • Assure takes a direct object--usually a person or group of persons. You assure someone that something has been done. • Ensure does not imply that you are giving assurance to someone else. You ensure that something has been done. • Examples: • I assureyou of my good intentions. • Please insure this package. • Ensure that you lock your car.
Websites for commonly confused words Commonly Confused Words, A-Z • http://www.pnl.gov/ag/usage/confuse.html AskOxford.com • http://www.askoxford.com/betterwriting/classicerrors/confused/?view=uk Quizzes • http://virtual.yosemite.cc.ca.us/lumanr/904_stuff/confwords.htm Other sites for Commonly Confused Words • http://homepage.smc.edu/reading_lab/words_commonly_confused.htm • http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/4778/CattCnfsdWrdsMn.htm • http://www.rinkworks.com/words/confused.shtml • http://www2.actden.com/writ_den/tips/sentence/confused.htm • http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conford.html • http://www.wsuonline.weber.edu/wrh/words.htm
DICTIONARIES • CCSD ONline Dictionary • Hypertext Webster Dict. search page • The American·British - British·American Dictionary • The Wordsmyth English Dictionary-Thesaurus • On-line Dictionaries • ROGET'S Thesaurus Online • The American·British - British·American Dictionary • WWWebster Dictionary - Search screen • Dictionary.com