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25 Confused Homonym Pairs

(This blog is an excerpt from Daily Writing Tips. For the full version, follow the link at the bottom of this blog.)

By Mark Nichol

Dozens of homonyms, words that sound like other words but are spelled differently, are sometimes confused for their near doppelgängers. This post lists and defines twenty-five frequently confused word pairs, in which the first word is usually used mistakenly in place of the second one. (Definitions for words are simplified and not comprehensive.)

  1. add: increase
    ad: abbreviation for advertisement

  2. aid: help
    aide: one who helps

  3. block: area bounded by streets, or an obstacle or a solid object
    bloc: group with ideas or ideology in common

  4. cannon: piece of artillery
    canon: collection of works, or regulation, or standards or rules or a collection of them

  5. canvas: durable, heavy protective material
    canvass: debate, examine, or go out in search of responses

  6. chomp: bite down
    champ: bite down (same meaning, but idiom is “champ at the bit”)

  7. compliment: praise
    complement: complete or enhance

  8. conscious: aware
    conscience: adherence to or regard for fairness or moral strength

  9. council: deliberative or legislative body
    counsel: legal adviser

  10. discrete: separate
    discreet: modest, prudent, unobtrusive

(Visit the site for the full list)


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