Posts Tagged ‘words commonly confused’

Words Commonly Confused (Similar Sound) – Part I

November 18th, 2009 in Vocabulary, Words

Whether and weather

Whether is a conjunction used to introduce alternatives.

We should try to finish the work whether it is raining or not.
I don’t know whether he would come.
I wonder whether it is worth the effort.
Weather means ‘state of atmosphere’.
In May the weather is hot.

Practice and Practise

Practise is a verb. To practise is to repeat something to get better results.

He practises the piano daily.

Practice is a noun.

Your writing skills will improve with practice.

Alter and Altar

Alter is a verb. It means ‘change’.

We had to alter our plans.

An altar is a raised structure or area where religious ceremonies are performed in a church.

Herd and Heard

The noun herd is used to refer to large groups of people or animals.

A herd of cattle
She was never one to follow the herd.

Heard is the past tense of hear.

I have heard him on the radio.
Suddenly we heard a strange noise.

Piece and Peace

Piece means a small part taken from a larger whole.

Please give me a piece of paper.

Peace means freedom from war, mental calm and similar ideas.

Please leave me in peace, I am trying to work.
Peace reigned throughout the land.

Counsel and Council

Counsel means advice. A council is a number of people who meet on some business.

Fair and Fare

The adjective fair means reasonable or unbiased. Fair can also mean light-colored.

We must make a fair judgment.
She is very fair.

The noun fair means a commercial exhibition or carnival.

They are planning to hold a book fair in the city.

Fare means the cost of travel.

How much is the railway fare?

Bare and bear

The adjective bare means uncovered.

As he didn’t wear a shirt, the sun burnt his bare skin.
A bear is a large furry animal.

The verb bear means tolerate.

I can’t bear this heat.

Plane and Plain

Plane means the same as Airplane.

The adjective plain has several meanings. For instance, it can mean unattractive, simple, ordinary and similar ideas.

She has plain looks.
I like plain homely food.

Plain can also mean ‘clearly visible’.

I get a plain view of the hills from my balcony.

The noun plain refers to large expanses of flat, almost treeless country.