The Most Confusing Words in English Grammar – Vol 3

In continuation of our series of the most confusing English words, we are back with our final edition.

Today we have got a few more words from the vocabulary which perfectly appear similar to each other in terms of sound but cater a completely different meaning.

Let’s have a look at these words and find out how they differ from each other.

  1. Main vs Mane

The word ‘main’ can be used both as an adjective and noun. When used as an adjective, main denotes something or someone that’s chief in size, extent, or importance.

As a noun, main means a primary pipe or duct in a system used to dispense water, gas, etc. It can also mean physical strength, force or power when used as a noun.

The word ‘mane’ is a noun; it stands for the long hair that grows on the back of or around the neck and neighbouring parts of some animals, like the horse or lion.

To understand their difference in a better way, let us look at these examples:

  • The main ingredients of this product are lemon, monk fruit, and mint.
  • She stroked her horse’s mane lovingly as it walked beside her.
  1. Mantel vs Mantle

Mantel is a noun that means a frame like construction at the opening of a fireplace, typically the covering part of the chimney in a decorative manner.

The word ‘mantle’ on the other hand can be used both as a noun and a verb. As a noun, it means a loose, sleeveless cloak or cape. As a verb, the word means the act of covering with a mantle; concealing.

Have a look at these examples to understand their use in a sentence:

  • For an easy mantel decoration, I suggest you use a series of matching containers, like small galvanized tin cups.
  • The door opened, and the man in the mantle
  1. Stationary vs Stationery

Stationary can be used both as an adjective and a noun. The word defines a person or thing that is not moving, is standing still or fixed to a position.

The word ‘stationery’ is a noun and means writing materials like pencils, pens, paper, and envelopes.

Some examples to understand their use better:

  • You can buy books and stationery from our campus bookstore and from the shops behind the campus.
  • The stationary car still had the motor running.
  1. Their vs There

‘Their’ is a pronoun and happens to be the possessive form of “they”. The word ‘there’ can be used as an adverb, pronoun as well as a noun.

There can indicate a place a person or thing was at or in; it can also be used to introduce the subject of a sentence, particularly before the verbs be, seem, and appear:

Some examples to understand the usage and meaning of the words better:

Their pet is pretty adorable; they are taking good care of it.

There seems no specific reason why you don’t wish to pursue this course.

Now that you know how different these similar-sounding words are, do flaunt your impeccable skills while using any of these words with finesse.

Tags: Confusing Words in English Grammar  |  Homophones  |  Confusing English Words  |  English Grammar | Commonly Confused Words  |  Features of Grammar