Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

June 23, 2009

10 pairs of words that often get confused

Sometimes there are words in one language that are similar to words in another. These can often translate the same but sometimes they have a different meaning or usage. Many of these are called ‘false friends’, a good name as this is what they are – comforting yet deadly! Others are confused because their meaning is very similar yet their usage not. Making sure that you know how to use these words is a good tactic and should be included in the language audit we discussed a few posts ago.

Here are 10 pairs of words to consider.

accept/agree

  • I don’t agree with what you are saying.
  • I can’t accept your offer.

check/control

  • You need to check your writing before you hand it in.
  • I have no control over the results of the test.

take/pass

  • I’m going to take the exam on Friday.
  • The whole class passed the exam – amazing!

lose/miss

  • I popped out for 10 minutes and missed her call!
  • I think I’ve lost my purse!

sensible/sensitive

  • Don’t worry, Jake is very sensible I’m sure he won’t get lost.
  • Don’t shout at Milly she’s very sensitive and might get upset.

forget/leave

  • I left my umbrella on the bus, I need to call lost property.
  • I lost my necklace at the party, it must have fallen off.

remember/remind

  • Can you remind me to set the alarm for 7.00a.m.?
  • Did you remember to buy extra milk?

bring/take

  • Please bring your own food and drink to the event.
  • Don’t forget to take all your belongings with you when you leave.

raise/rise

  • Can you raise that issue at the next meeting?
  • Our sales figures have risen for the 3rd month in a row.

economics/economy

  • The economy is going through troubled times at present.
  • My father studied economics from books and other publications.

This is a selection and you will find more of these words in your grammar book. Take time to ensure that you are clear about the differences and know how to use them correctly.

If you have any suggestions for other areas I can look at in my postings – let me know!

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