Commonly confused words 3


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This is part 3 of many parts of commonly confusing words.
It is also good for learning more vocabulary.

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Commonly confused words 3

  1. 1. Live Free / Speak Free
  2. 2. 1defuse&diffuse2dependent&dependant3 4 59 10 11 12 136 7 8descent,decentanddissentdesertanddessertdiscrete anddiscreete.g. and i.e. economic andeconomicalelicit andillicitenquiry andinquiryenvelop andenvelopeForego,Forewent &Foregone &Forgo, Forwent& Forgoneforth &fourthgetaway &get a way
  3. 3. defuse and diffuseTo defuse means to remove the fuse. Diffuse means spread out.DefuseThe verb defuse refers to the act of deactivating a bomb. (Defuseliterally means to remove the fuse.) It is often used figuratively tomean to disarm or to pacify.Paul, go back in the meeting and defuse all the arguing.How long did it take you to defuse the bomb?Examples:
  4. 4. She is the CEO of a large diffuse company.I need speakers that will diffuse my music around the whole arena.DiffuseThe adjective diffuse means spread out or not concentrated inone place. Diffuse can also be a verb meaning to circulate or tospread.Examples:
  5. 5. dependent and dependantDependent means reliant on; whereas, a dependant isa person (usually a child or a spouse).There is often confusion over the words dependent and dependant.DependantA dependant is person who is dependent on someone else. (Forexample, a child is dependent on its parents. Therefore, a child is adependant of its parents.)All embassy staff and their dependants must be at the airport by 6oclock.(In this example, the word dependants means spouses and children.)Example:
  6. 6. DependentThe word "dependent" is an adjective meaning contingent on,relying on, supported by or addicted to. The word dependantrefers to a person and is a noun.I am dependent on the weather for a safe crossing.(reliant on the weather)Example:IN AMERICAN ENGLISH, DEPENDENT IS BOTH ADJECTIVE AND NOUNTwo of my dependents became dependent on heroin.(should be dependants...)Two of my dependents became dependent on heroin.
  7. 7. The family-entertainment stint is on theweather. I do not want the police officers and all theirstanding in the rain for two hours like last year.have a tendency to complain directly toCommissioner Taylor.dependant /dependentdependant /dependentDependant /DependentSuccess is on raising the voice of thesilent majority. I need all party members and as many of theiras possible at the rally. Thesuccessful delivery of our message ison us achieving a noticeable proportion of yellow campaign Tshirts in the crowd.dependant /dependentdependant /dependentdependant /dependentClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.12
  8. 8. I intend for my to live with me in theBritish Consulate grounds. However, this ison the security situation improving to last yearslevel. Two of my are young children.dependant /dependentdependant /dependentdependant /dependent3
  9. 9. descent, decent and dissentDescent means going downwards, a downward slope or ancestry.Decent means civilized, good or adequate.Dissent means to argue or a difference of opinion.There is often confusion over the words descent, decent and dissent.DescentThe noun descent has a few meanings:The action of descending (i.e., going downwards).The Boeing 737 started its descent from 20,000 feet.A downhill incline.It features a long, steep descent that is ideal for advanced skiers.Family origin.She is from Indian descent.
  10. 10. DecentThe adjective decent means civilized, good or adequate. (It rhymeswith recent.)Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country aredecent, hardworking citizens.Thats a decent plate of food.DissentDissent can be a noun meaning difference of opinion or a verb meaning todisagree.The referee has given him a red card for dissent.Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.I will dissent if you continue with this course of action.(Dissent is a verb in this example.)Examples:Examples:
  11. 11. DECENT RHYMES WITH RECENTNative English speakers always pronounce these wordscorrectly. Confusion only occurs in writing. Therefore, ifyou remember that decent rhymes with recent (whichis logical considering they share the same last fiveletters), then you will succeed in differentiating betweendecent and descent.DISS = DISSENTThe street word diss (deriving from disrespect) hasconnotations of disagreement and arguing. Therefore,the first four letters of dissent can remind you of itsmeaning.
  12. 12. Select an answer to replace the word in bold:Q1 Okay, you can keep the pigeon, but I expect your sister will have a different opinion.a. descent b. decent c. dissentQ2 That looks like a pretty good attempt.a. dissent b. descent c. decentQ3 How can I slow the speed of falling?a. decent b. descent c. dissentCCBCheck Answers
  13. 13. desert and dessertDesert means arid land or to abandon.Dessert is the sweet course at the end of a meal.The words desert and dessert look similar, but they are verydifferent in meaning.DesertThe word desert can be an adjective, noun orverb. It has the following meanings:Arid land with little or no vegetation.The Sahara DesertThe plants and animals possess special features which allow them tocope with the desert conditions.(Desert is an adjective in this example.)An ice desert is defined as a polar area that supports little or novegetation and that is permanently covered by snow and ice.(Desert is a noun in this example.)
  14. 14. To abandon or to defect or to leave in the lurch.If disturbed too often, the adult birds will desert the fledglings.If you desert, you will be shot when youre caught.(Desert is a verb in these examples.)To leave behind.As soon as the bell went, the kids deserted the building.(Desert is a verb in this example.)
  15. 15. DessertA dessert is typically the final course of a meal.It is usually sweet (e.g., ice cream, cake,pudding).Would you like to see the dessert menu?an example of a dessertDESSERT IS TWICE AS GOODSome tips to remember which is which:Dessert is twice as good as desert.Desert = SaharaDessert = Strawberry shortcake
  16. 16. Click on the correct word in each of the following sentences.12Eat your cabbage, Jennifer. After that, you can have some. Come on, think of those children in thewho dont have many vegetables.She was emaciated from five months in conditions.All she wanted was ice cream - buckets of ice cream. In fact, she askedfor any cold, gooey full of sugar.This is a3desert /dessert desert /dessertdesert /dessertdesert /dessertdesert /dessert
  17. 17. discrete and discreetDiscrete means individually distinct.Discreet means inconspicuous.DiscreteThe adjective discrete means individually distinct or separate (i.e.,something that is not part of something else).There is a rack on the bench that contains all the discrete electroniccomponents.Our club has three discrete membership categories.Examples:
  18. 18. DiscreetThe adjective discreet means respecting secrecy, inconspicuous ordiplomatic.You can trust my aide - he is very discreet.The painting was won by a discreet telephone bidder.In Mathematics, there is a type of variable called a discretevariable. A discrete variable is one that cannot take on all valueswithin its range. For example, in a survey, you might be asked torate a holiday from 1 to 5. In this survey, you cannot choose 1.7 or3.4. You can only choose 1,2,3,4 or 5. You cannot pick any valuesin between. The survey expects you to select a discrete variable.Examples:
  19. 19. We need to think of the company as three sections.Ill tell you what I really think, but you must be .You could have been a little more with my mother,George."Individually separate and distinct" is the definition for .discreet / discretediscreet / discretediscreet / discretediscreet / discreteClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.1234
  20. 20. e.g. and i.e.E.g. means for example (from Latin exempli gratia).I.e. means in other words or "that is" (from Latin id est).The abbreviations e.g. (from Latin exempli gratia) and i.e. (fromLatin id est) are often confused. This is because they are both usedto introduce some clarification of something previously mentioned.e.g.The abbreviation e.g. is used to provide an example:The buffet provided excellent variety, e.g., vegetarian and non-vegetarian soups, Italian and French breads and numerous sweets.(e.g. = for example)He was the school champion of many activities (e.g., chess,badminton and 110m hurdles).(e.g. = for example)Examples:
  21. 21. i.e.The abbreviation i.e. is used to restate an idea more clearly or offermore information.It happened in August; i.e. two months ago.(i.e. = in other words)It happened in August; e.g. two months ago.(e.g. = for example)Service charge is included in all prices, i.e., you dont have to leave atip.(i.e. = in other words)Examples:
  22. 22. All amphibians are thriving in the new pond; e.g., the two bullfrogswere being very active yesterday.(This sentence is fine grammatically. From it, we infer that thereare more amphibians than two bullfrogs in the pond.)All amphibians are thriving in the new pond; i.e., the two bullfrogswere being very active yesterday.(This sentence is fine grammatically. We infer that the onlyamphibians in the pond are the two bullfrogs.)Getting Them WrongOften mixing the abbreviations up does not mean your sentenceis grammatically incorrect. However, getting them wrong willchange the meaning of your sentence.Examples:
  23. 23. REMEMBERING WHICH IS WHICHThis may assist in remembering:e.g. = "example given“i.e. = "in effect"THE FORMAT WITH E.G. OR I.E.Comma before is okay:He directs a variety of genres, e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy.Semicolon before is okay:He directs a variety of genres; e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy.
  24. 24. Brackets are okay:He directs a variety of genres (e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy).Starting a sentence is okay:He directs a variety of genres. E.g., he directs crime, disaster, dramaand fantasy.COMMA AFTER E.G. OR I.E.In the US, it is usual to follow e.g. or i.e. with a comma. It is lesscommon in the UK. There is leniency in all conventions. The golden ruleis: be consistent.FULL STOPS (PERIODS ) OR NOTIt is usual to see full stops (periods) with e.g. and i.e. However, you canwrite them without. The golden rule is simply: be consistent.
  25. 25. DONT USE ETC. AFTER E.G.The examples you offer after using e.g. are usually samplesfrom a more complete list. Therefore, it is often notappropriate to use etc. after e.g. since it is understood thatyou are only offering a partial list by way of example. In theexample below, the etc. is redundant:Mark needs gloves to handle live fishing bait (e.g., rag worm, lug worm,crab, etc.)In the example above:the use of e.g. is correctthe use of etc. is wrong
  26. 26. Select the correct answer:Q1 The abbreviation e.g. stands for:a. extra gratis b. example given c. exempli gratiaQ2 I love mints; e.g. Polos. Therefore, I love:a. Just Polos b. Polos and Evertonmintsc. Many types ofmints, includingPolosQ3 You should never use a semicolon before i.e.a. Only if yourcomma key is brokenb. True c. Not trueCCCCheck Answers
  27. 27. economic and economicalEconomic pertains to the economy. Economical means not wasteful.EconomicThe adjective economic pertains to the economy, finances or wealth.The economic deceleration will likely cause a further fall inunemployment.The host will interview the winners and losers from currenteconomic situation.Its not about money - he is fine from an economic perspective.Examples:
  28. 28. EconomicalThe adjective economical denotes that something saves money orresources or is not wasteful of money or resources.It has a powerful yet economical engine that is suitable for high-mileage drivers.The most practical and economical way to see Brazil is by air.Examples:The adverb is easy - its economically for both.
  29. 29. elicit and illicitTo elicit means to draw out or to obtain (usually information).Illicit means illegal.The words elicit and illicit sound similar, but their meanings are very different.ElicitIn very general terms, the verb elicit means to obtain. However, it has theconnotation of actively obtaining something (usually information). It canoften be translated as to draw out, to extract, to obtain information, todeduce or to construe.Fog always seems to elicit strong feelings of melancholy.His questioning sought to elicit the conclusion he had reachedeven before the hearing began.Examples:
  30. 30. IllicitThe adjective illicit means illegal or contrary to accepted morality(i.e., naughty).The act seeks to prevent the illicit trafficking of narcotics.We have been told to expect a purge on illicit file-sharing web sites.Examples:ELICIT = EXTRACTThe first letter of elicit can serve to remind you that it means extract.ILLICIT = ILLEGALThe first three letters of illicit can serve to remind you that it means illegal.
  31. 31. Adopting a conversational style of questioning will oftenan answer.The detective sought to a description of the perpetratorfrom the victim.He was photographed during an encounter with astranger in the park.The trade in cigarettes accounts for six per cent of theworld cigarette consumption.illicit / elicitillicit / elicitillicit / elicitillicit / elicitClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.1234
  32. 32. enquiry and inquiryInquiry and enquiry are interchangeable in the US and the UK. However, inthe UK, it is becoming preferable to use inquiry to denote an investigationand enquiry to denote a question.Enquiry and InquiryThe nouns enquiry and inquiry can mean question, inquest orinvestigation. They can be used interchangeably, but in the US,inquiry is the more widely accepted. The words enquiry andinquiry derive from the verbs to enquire and to inquire. (Theguidance on this page relates to the verbs as well as the nouns.)
  33. 33. Not So Simple in the UKIn the UK, a distinction between enquiry and inquiry isdeveloping. The word inquiry is being used in relation to aformal inquest (i.e., an investigation); whereas, enquiry isbeing used to denote the act of questioning. However, thereis still notable leniency on this distinction. Of note, many in theUS will consider enquiry a spelling mistake of inquiry.Examples (UK convention):I would like to enquire about the toilet facilities in the hotel.(enquire = to ask)The judge has suspended the inquiry into the police shooting of theescaped mental patient.(inquiry = inquest or investigation)
  34. 34. envelop and envelopeTo envelop means to surround or to enclose.This is an envelope:The verb envelop (without an e on the end) means to surround or toenclose. It is sometimes confused with the noun envelope, which mostcommonly refers to a flat rectangular paper container for a letter.EnvelopThe verb envelop can mean to surround, to enclose, to cover up, toconceal or - in military circles - to conduct a flanking manoeuvre. Theverb used to be spelt with an e on the end, and this likely contributes topeople confusing it with envelope. In the past tense, the e reappears(e.g., The German division enveloped the town.)
  35. 35. Every year, an eerie mist envelops the hotel on the anniversaryof his gruesome murder.Examples:"the bridge was enveloped by fog"EnvelopeAn envelope denotes a flat package (usually made of paper) that is designedto hold papers (e.g., letters, cards). Envelope is also used to describe thelimits of a systems operating capability (e.g., An altitude of 10,000 feet is thetop of the aircrafts envelope.)
  36. 36. a selection of envelopesExamples:In Junes test flights, the speed and altitude envelopewas progressively expanded from the previously flown170 knots and 12,000 feet.CHILDRENS JOKE TO HELP REMIND YOUQ: What word starts with e, ends in e, but only has one letter in it?A: Envelope.
  37. 37. The rear ranks constituted Scipios reserve, which he had previously used tothe flanks of the enemy infantry.Do not push the stated on the first few tests.This is an :The response was overwhelming: around five thousandwith old stamps were handed in, raising a large sum forcharity.envelop / envelopeenvelop / envelopeenvelop / envelopeenvelops /envelopesClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.1234
  38. 38. Forego, Forewent and ForegoneandForgo, Forwent and ForgoneForego (forewent and foregone) means to precede.Forgo (forwent and forgone) means to do without (something).(They are almost interchangeable these days.)
  39. 39. Forego, Forewent and ForegoneThe word forego means to precede (i.e. to go before). The past tense offorego is forewent. The past participle is foregone. For example:The dancers will forego the introduction. (rare)Luckily, I forewent George, who is a brilliant speaker. (rare)It was no surprise to anyone they won the election. It was a foregoneconclusion.When used to mean to precede, forego and forewent are rarely seen inmodern English. They are most commonly seen as misspellings of forgo andforwent. In fact, they are so common, it has become debatable whether theyare still misspellings. In other words, forego and forewent are considered bymany to be acceptable alternatives for forgo and forewent.Here is an example of forego being used incorrectly but acceptably:Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing inlife is to know when to forego an advantage. (Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881)Unlike forego and forewent, the word foregone is stillcommon (e.g. a foregone conclusion).
  40. 40. Forgo, Forwent and ForgoneThe word forgo means to do without (something). The past tenseof forgo is forwent. The past participle is forgone. For example:Jason said he would forgo the pay incentive to stay with the team.I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowedus with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo theiruse. (Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642)She forwent the starter to ensure enough room for the treacle tart.I would have forgone the starter, if Id known there was treacle tart!Forgo, forwent and forgone are all common in modern English.
  41. 41. FOREGO AND BEFOREForego means to precede or to go before. Let the fore partof forego remind you of to go before.THEYRE PRETTY MUCH INTERCHANGEABLEForego and forgo are pretty much interchangeable nowadays, butwe would advise sticking to the original rules, because they areeasier to defend than saying "theyre interchangeable". In ourexperience, you will hardly ever need the verb to forego unlessyoure using it in the form foregone.
  42. 42. I will my seat for the boy.Its a conclusion.The company any profit to meet the criteria.To protect our credibility, his announcement mustthe press release.forego / forgoforego / forgoforewent / forwentforegone / forgoneFor this test, assume that forgo and forego are not interchangeable.Click on the correct word in each of the following sentences.1234
  43. 43. forth and fourthFourth relates to the number four (e.g., fourth place).Forth usually means forward or onward.Do not confuse forth and fourth, which sound identical.ForthThe word forth (without a u) is an adverb meaning forward oronward (e.g., from this day forth, bring forth, go forth). It can alsomean come out into view (e.g., Come forth from the crowd).Put a cherry on top the first cake, then the second, and so forth.(and so forth = more of the same)I need to be present at the meeting to put my ideas forth.(to make the ideas apparent; i.e., to bring them into view(figuratively))Examples:
  44. 44. FourthThe word fourth (with a u) relates to the number four. It can be anoun (e.g., one fourth, i.e., a quarter), an adjective (e.g., the fourthcar) or an adverb (e.g., the new driver came fourth).FOUR = FOURTHThe word fourth (with a u) relates to the number four.FORTH = FORWARDThe word forth shares the same first three letters as forward.FORTY NOT FOURTYThe word forty (which obviously relates to the number four)is not spelt with a u. (This is a common spelling mistake,particularly in handwritten text.)
  45. 45. This is my mobile phone this year. From this moment,I shall take better care of my belongings. There must bea thief on the floor who is rifling through the coats in thecloakroom.forth /fourthforth / fourthforth /fourthThere were no signs of nerves. She simply stepped andran her heart out. However, despite coming first in the nationalchampionships, she only managed in the county trial.What type of metal is used to make a medal for place? Isit brass?forth /fourthforth /fourthforth /fourthClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.12
  46. 46. My point relates to the crew’s timekeeping.Remember, our mission is to travel into deep spaceand explore new galaxies. We are charged to go andseek new challenges.forth /fourthforth /fourthforth /fourth3
  47. 47. getaway and get a wayGetaway means:(1) a location for respite (2) an escapeGet away means:(1) to escape (2) Unbelievable!Writers occasionally confuse getaway and get away.
  48. 48. GetawayThe noun getaway has two meanings:A location visited to escape daily routine.Alison is going to a little getaway in the hills for a week.This is my little getaway. I come here every Friday night.An escape.The robbers made their getaway in a silver Mondeo.Fingers, you can be the getaway driver.(Getaway is an adjective in this example. Like most nouns, getawaycan be used as an adjective too.)Examples:Examples:
  49. 49. Get AwayGet away has two meanings:(As a verb) To escape or to keep away.Tonight, the prisoners will attempt to get away.(get away = to escape)Get away from my apples, you pesky kids.(get away = keep away)(As an interjection) Never or unbelievable.Is that true? Get away.(Get away = never or unbelievable)Get away, a 12-pound bass? Are you sure it was Lee who caught it?(Get away = never or unbelievable)Examples:Examples:
  50. 50. PREPOSITIONAL VERBS IN INFORMAL CIRCUMSTANCESThe word away is a preposition. To get away is a prepositional verb.Verbs comprising more than one word (e.g., to get away, to look after, to putoff) are known as phrasal verbs. These are usually used in informalcircumstances, such as speaking or writing notes or emails. The single-wordversions (usually deriving from Latin) are more appropriate in formal writing.Examples:We will get together at 6.We will congregate at 1800 hrs.(to congregate: Latinate version of to get together)Weve put the meeting off until Tue.The meeting is postponed until Tuesday.(to postpone: Latinate version of to put off)
  51. 51. I need to from this environment and find myself acosy in the woods for a few days.After a two-hour chase, the remaining three robbers managed tofrom the police. They were found a week laterin a self-catering in the heart of the ScottishHighlands.I can recommend this as a nice little for thesummer.Heres one burglar who failed to .getaway / get awaygetaway / get awaygetaway / get awaygetaway / get awaygetaway / get awaygetaway / get awayClick on the correct word in each of the following sentences.1234