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The Most Confusing Words in English Grammar – Vol 1

English as a language for many is no less than a battle. Most of us feel the consistent pressure of being judged by others when speaking English.

This pressure often makes us hold back our thoughts as we fear that we might end up saying something really stupid.

And to make the matters worse are the words from English vocabulary that are spelled differently but sound the same. Known as ‘HOMOPHONES’, they tend to be highly confusing. And not just the learners, even the experts in language often get confused amidst these words.

In today’s lesson, we’ve got a list of some of the most confusing and misused words in English grammar.

  1. Advise vs Advice – Advise is a verb (an action) whereas Advice is a noun (a thing). Advise as a verb means to give a suggestion or opinion. Advice means ‘an opinion’.

Let us understand their correct usage through an example:

  • I don’t need your advice on this topic.
  • The doctor advised me to stay away from junk food.
  1. Brake vs Break – Both these words can be used as a noun and a verb. The word ‘brake’ when used as a noun means a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle. When used as a verb, ‘brake’ means to slow or stop. Similarly, the word ‘break’ when used as a noun means an interruption of continuity or uniformity. As a verb, ‘break’ means to separate into pieces by a blow or shock.

Examples to understand the concept clearly:

  • The car brake doesn’t seem to be working well.
  • She had to brake hard to avoid the accident.
  • It’s time for their lunch break.
  • Careful, don’t break the flower vase.
  1. Complement vs Compliment – The word complement, whether used as a noun or verb, means something that completes a thing. Complement is mostly used with foods and fashion to describe the matching ingredients or styles.

Compliment, which can also be used as a verb or noun, means to praise or admire something or someone.

Examples to explain the usage:

  • A good dessert is a complement to a good meal.
  • She complimented him on his choice of fashion.
  1. Discreet vs Discrete – Both the words are adjectives; discreet means someone who is careful about his speech or actions whereas the word discrete means separate or someone who is distinct or detached.

Examples to understand better:

  • I trust you to be discreet with this information.
  • You should try to do these discrete steps.

Keep practicing these words and we’ll soon be back with a new set of confusing words.

Tags: Confused Words in English  |  Grammar  |  English Language  |  Confusing Words Exercises  | Confusing Words to Spell