The Most Confusing Words in English Grammar – Vol 2

As promised, we are back with some more sets of words that perfectly qualify to be among the most ‘confusing English words’.

So, let’s have a look at these words and find out how they differ from one another.

  1. Further vs Farther

Though both these words are often used interchangeably, the truth is that they don’t have the same meaning. Both ‘Further’ and ‘Farther’ can be used as adverbs & adjectives in comparative form. Further is used when you’re referring to figurative distances or something that is additional or more.

Farther, on the other hand, is used when you talk about the actual distances between objects.

A simple rule to remember when using these words is, for measurable distance use ‘Farther’ and to denote a greater physical distance where the distance is measured but there is no knowledge of the precise time difference.

Let us understand the usage of both words with examples:

  • He was too tired to go further.
  • You need to go to the farther side of the mountain.
  1. Heal vs Heel

Heal is a verb that means to make something or someone healthy or to restore to health. It could also be used to denote causing a recovery or cure from wounds.

The word heel can be used both as a noun and as a verb. As a noun, heel means the back part of the human foot, below the ankle. The heel is also the part of the palm of the hand next to the wrist.

When used as a verb, heel means to fit or renovate a heel on (a shoe or boot).

Examples to understand the words better:

  • Your wounds will take some to heal.
  • I think she should stop wearing high heels
  1. Idle vs Idol

Idle can be used both as an adjective and as a verb. The word in both usages means something or someone is not active, or in use.

Idol is a noun and it could be used to denote an image or material object that represents a deity to which the religious worship is addressed. It could also mean to regard any person or thing with esteem, or devotion.

Examples to understand the words better:

  • The boys are all sitting idle.
  • They placed the lord’s idol in the center of the room.
  • My mother has always been my idol.
  1. It’s and Its

One of the most confusing words, often people tend to make a mistake when using ‘it’s’ and ‘its.

It’s is the short form for it is and it has. You can replace it has and it is in a sentence using the contracted form ‘it’s’. This is the only usage of the word.

‘Its’ happens to be a possessive adjective, similar to his and her. While his and her are used for male and female possessors respectively, you use its when you have a neuter possessor.

Examples to understand the words better:

It’s not the time to eat ice-cream.

The dog was wagging its tail.

While you continue your practice with these set of words, we’ll be gearing up to bring the next set of most confusing words in English. So just stay tuned!

Tags:  Words in English |  Commonly Confused Words  |  English Grammar  |  Confusing Words |   Commonly Confused Words Exercises |  Homophones