Top 10 Confusing words in English!

Learn English Speaking

Every language has some distinct features of its own, so does English. There are many words that are spelt and pronounced the same way (almost!) but have different meanings and usage- both confusing and amusing! Let’s look at few of them and how they manage to confuse us!

  1. Ordinance: Local law or regulation

          Ordnance:   Military equipment mainly weapons and ammunition

          Ex: You cannot touch any ordnance that is present in the museum by ordinance.

  1. Nutritional: Relating to the process of nutrition

         Nutritious:  Healthy to eat

         Ex:   Nutritional information

                  Nutritious food

  1. Obsolete: No longer in use

         Obsolescent: Process of being obsolete

         Ex: The iPhone 4 is not yet obsolete but it’s obsolescent.

           (It hasn’t become obsolete yet, but it will soon be.)

  1. Observance: Act of obeying a law, rule or religious custom

         Observation: It is the corresponding noun for observe, but it means “to take notice”

          Ex: She will be under observation on the day of observance of Gandhi Jayanti.

  1. Noisy: To make a lot of noise

        Noisome: Unpleasant or offensive to the senses (especially the sense of smell)

        Ex: The noisy and noisome garbage collection van is back!

  1. Complement: An add-on to improve something

         Compliment:  An admiring remark

          Ex: That scarf complements your dress so well. I’m sure you’ll get lots of compliments!

  1. Principle: A rule or belief

        Principal: The head of a school

         Ex: Our Principal is a man of principles.

  1. Alternately: To take turns while doing something

         Alternatively: As an option

         Ex: We have two alternatives: to either go by train or drive alternately.

  1. Excess: More than sufficient quantity

         Access: Gain entry or right to enter

         Ex: Do you have access to the excess stationary in the office?

  1. Loose: Not tightly fitted

         Lose:     To be deprived of something/someone

         Ex: Did you lose that loose jacket of mine?

           Remember to lose the extra “o”!

Always use these words with caution and get compliments from all your friends for your good English skills!

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