Commonly Confused Words

Buy commonly confused words The English Language Coach

Buy commonly confused words The English Language Coach

Commonly Confused Words

In English, there are many commonly confused words, which are spelled in a similar way or have a similar meaning, as a result, they can be easily confused. 

Here are 9 of the commonly confused words.

Dessert or Desert

A dessert is a sweet dish usually eaten at the end of a meal. 

The word desert has several meanings. One is a very hot, dry place with little water, while another meaning is to abandon. The tourists deserted the beaches. The man deserted his friends.

Accept or Except

‘Accept’ means to receive or agree to something, so the hero accepted her reward.  

‘Except’ means ‘excluding’, Everyone except the villain was at the ceremony.

Your or You’re 

‘You means belonging to or associated with any person in general. That is your coffee.  

‘You’re’ is the contraction of you are. You’re (you are) late for work again.

There or Their

We use ‘there’ to talk about where something is. The house is over there. We use ‘their’ to talk about something belonging to or associated with people, or things previously mentioned or easily identified. That is their house.

Borrow or Lend

‘Borrow’ means to receive something for a short period of time. You can borrow the car from your friend.  

‘Lend’ means to give something for a short or specific period of time, so your friend can lend you the car.

Personal or Personnel

‘Personal’ means belonging to or affecting a particular person rather than anyone else. The doctor was asking him some personal questions about his medical history.  

‘Personnel’ means the employees of a company.

Loose or Lose

Loose, like many English words, can have more than one meaning. Two of the meanings are 1) not firmly or tightly fixed in place. She had a loose tooth. 2) Clothing that is not tightly fitting. The new pants were a very loose-fitting style.  

‘Lose’ means to misplace something or to not win in a game or contest. She always loses her car keys. He hoped he would not lose the race.

Principle or Principal

‘Principal’ means the head of a school or the main thing. Mrs. Jones was the new school principal.

‘Principles’ are beliefs, values, or basic, truths. He stuck to his principles. 

Affect or Effect

‘Affect’ means to impact or change.  

‘Effect’ indicates the result of a change. The tornado affected everyone in the small town, and the effect was devastating on the economy.



Other commonly confused words

I have posted other confusing words in my blog

See the difference between Make and Do

See the difference between Say and Tell 

See confusing British words 

And there are more on my blog. 

Latest Posts

en_GBEnglish (UK)