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commonly confused words

Page history last edited by Michael Griffin 12 years, 5 months ago

beat/win

I beat everyone and I won the tournament.

(My example: I won my girlfriend at cards is very unusual and not something to brag about.)

 

shade/shadow

Only extremely huge people can make shade, people usually make shadows.

 

during/for

For answers the question, "How long?"

During means throughout the time.  ex. He lived in Florida during the winter.

                                                          He stayed there for 4 months.

Here is a quiz about these (and a few other words).

 

fun/funny/interesting

Something fun is enjoyable.  (a game)

Something funny makes me laugh.  (a comedy)

Something interesting holds my attention. (a good book)

 

put on/wear

Putting on is simply the action. After we put something on we are wearing it.

 

for sale/on sale 

On sale means that the price is cheaper than usual.

For sale simply means that it is being sold.

 

ashamed/embarrassed

This was a tough one.

Basically the difference is that if we ashamed about something we have done something seriously and ethically wrong.

If we are embarrassed we might have just made a small mistake.

 

alone/lonely

Alone is just physical. Sometimes I like to be alone. Lonely is an emotional state and is a bad feeling that we sometime feel when we are alone (or even when we are with someone.) So, if I am alone and I am happy about it I am not lonely. If I am alone and I want to be with people I am lonely.

 

hear/listen

The key here (not hear) is intent. As we said,  hearing test is based on our hearing ability and might happen at the doctor's office.

Listening is paying attention. Another word that is useful for class is understanding. I am sure that you can listen if you try, sometimes you simply cannot understand.

 

accident/incident

The main difference with these words is that an accident is random. An incident has some causes. The example that I gave was Shin Jeong-Ah which was certainly an incident because there was a background and it didn't just happen out of the blue.

 

see/look/watch

The difference between see and look is mostly one of intention. Look is to focus on something.

"Look at this!" "Did you see that?"

 

The important point for watch is that something is moving.

I like to watch TV.

I watched a soccer game yesterday.

 

BTW- Let's go see a movie./Let's go watch a movie./Let's go to the movies are all correct.

 

say/tell/speak/talk

Someone asked for some more information about say/tell/speak/talk. Click here for what I think is a clear and easy way to remember the differences.

 

 

Please let me know you are unclear about any of the above words and I will add some more examples and try again to explain the words.

 

everyday/every day

 

The good news is that they sound the same. Everyday is an adjective that means usual, normal, common.

We use every day to talk about how often we do something, just like every week/month/year.

 

 

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