Commonly Confused Pair of Words in English Language

english language


Hoard - The smuggler hoards his goods in a secret place.
Horde - Robin Hood belonged to a plundering horde.


Eligible - Young, handsome and successful, I think at the age of 25, he is the most eligible bachelor.
Illegible - Her handwriting is so illegible that one can hardly make out a couple of lines. 


Rite - His funeral rites would last a week.
Write - Please write your name and address on this paper.
Right - You have no right to interfere.


Adapt - He has adapted himself wonderfully to the new environment.
Adopt - I have to adopt some stern measures to handle him.
Adept - Sanjeev Kapoor is adept in every type of cooking.


President - He was unanimously elected the president of the organisation.
Precedent - I am afraid this would create a bad precedent.


Idle - We should not sit idle when work is at hand.
Idol - The famous idol of Lord Shiva was stolen from the temple yesterday.


Dissent - The chairman of the meeting dissented from the proposal and it was dropped.
Descent - He claims descent from an aristocratic family.


In - I was in the office at that time.
Inn - The weary traveller went to the nearest inn for a short stay.


Dying - His dying words were "Hey Ram".
Dyeing - He is employed in the Capital Dyeing factory.


Deny - He denied that he had copied.
Refuse - Why do you refuse to help me?


Medal - P.T. Usha won 4 gold medals in the Xth Asiad at Seoul.
Meddle - She has no business to meddle with my personal life.


Wet - She loves to get wet in the rain during the monsoons.
Whet - The sight of the juicy oranges seems to have whetted my appetite.


Deadly - He got a deadly blow from his enemy.
Deathly - He became deathly pale.


Rob - She was robbed of her gold bangles by a miscreant.
Steal - Those who steal are seldom caught easily.


Martial - Martial law was enforced in the territory as a last resort.
Marshal - He was ranked Field Marshal in view of his outstanding achievements.


License - This company has been licensed to deal in imported goods.
Licence - You will undergo a test before getting a licence.


Waste - You should not waste so much money on luxury items.
Waist - You will have to reduce a lot of fat from your waist line.


Cite - Our teacher always cites passages from Shakespeare.
Site - Everyone has agreed upon the site of our new house.
Sight - The sight is becoming lovelier day by day.


Flour - There are not many flour mills in this city.
Flower - Of all the flowers, I like the daffodils.
Floor - The floor of the dining room is covered with carpets.


Loath - He is loath to accompany me.
Loathe - I loathe hypocritical people.


Patrol - The policemen are patrolling the riot-affected area.
Petrol - Petrol prices are rising almost every year.


Pour - Pour my tea into this cup.
Pore - The human skin has many pores.


Quite - I was quite happy to get a first division.
Quiet - The teacher asked the students to keep quiet.


Pray - I will pray to God for your success.
Prey - The lion at last found its prey in a rabbit. 


Cattle - The cattle are grazing at the field.
Kettle - The water is boiling in the kettle.

Accept - The Prime Minister accepted the suggestion of the opposition parties.
Except- All ministers except the Railway Minister were present in the meeting.


Envelope-The fire will envelop the whole village if not controlled now.
Envelope- Send this encelope by registered post.


Gate- The main gate of the school was closed today, so, I presented it was a holiday.
Gait- I can recognize him by his gate.


Fain- My friend would fain have helped me.
Feign- He feigned madness in order to escape.


Naughty- Your son is always upto some naughty tricks at school.
Knotty- A knotty problem that appeared in the Geometry paper puzzled me.


Yoke- Put the bullocks to the yoke.
The farmer yokes a pair of horses.
Yolk- Separate the yolk from the while of the egg.


Gamble- Recently, he has started gambling besides drinking.
Gambol- The rabbits are known for their gambol.


Latter- The shopkeeper showed a red sari and a pink sari, I preferred the latter.
Later- She came later than Sangeeta for the party.
Letter- It is a month since I received a letter from my sister.


Angle- All the angles of this triangle are equal.
Angel- A known devil is better than an unknown angel.


Deny- He denied that he had copied. 
Refuse- Why do you refuse to help me?


Alien- Their ideas are Quite alien to my way of thicking.
Align- We must align Ourselves with the nation-builders.


Eminent- Ravi Shanker is an eminent sitarist.
Imminent- A feud between the two brothers is imminent after their father’s death.


Team- The performance of our hockey team is getting better.
Teem- The book teams with beautiful illustrations.


Abstain- You will have to abstain from fatty foods till your liver starts functioning normally.
Refrain- I hope he will refrain from speaking ill of others.


Continual- I cannot do any work at home because of the continual disturbances.
Continuous- His name was struck off the rolls because of his continuous absence.


Recover- The patient will take some time to recover from this setback.
Re-cover- The dead body of the patriot was re-covered with the tri-coloured flag.


Sickness- Her sickness will not last long.
Sickliness- Her sickliness may prove to be a life-long malady.


Pair- I like this pair of trousers very much.
Pare- Will you kindly pare off the apple?


Stationary- The earth is not stationary. It moves round the sun.
Stationery – Children went to purchases their stationery at the beginning of the year.


Physics- He is doing his doctorate in Physics.
Physique- He maintains a strong physique.


Led- Pundit Nehru led the Indians during the freedom Struggle. 
 Lead is a metal used for printing.


Disease- He is suffering from a chronic disease.
Decease- The child was rendered helpless on the decease of his parents.


Meet- Brahmins are not supposed to eat meat.
Mete- We were very unhappy about the treatment metal out to us at the wedding party.
Mete- We were very unhappy about the treatment meted out to us at the wedding party.


Quite- I was quite happy to get a first division.
Quiet-The teacher asked the students to keep quiet.


Obvious- It is obvious from his behavior that he is selfish.
Oblivious- The sitarist was so immersed In his sitar that he seemed oblivious of all the people watching him.


Dose-The doctor has asked me to take a dose of this medicine twice a day.
Doze-having sat late at night, he was dozing in the examination hall.


Story- The child wanted his mother to tell him a story.
Storey- On which storey of this building do you live?


Scene- Rakesh made quite a scene at the college today.
Seen- Have you seen the Ajanta and Ellora caves?


Alter- We make offerings to the Gods at the altar.
Alter- Once I take a decision. I am not likely to alter it.


Dear- She is very dear to me.
Petrol has becomes a dear commodity of life.
Deer- This jungle abounds in deer.


Former- Saurav Ganguly is the former capitan of the Indian Cricket team.
Farmer- Farmer is ploughing the field.


Mail- Will you mail this letter immediately?
I would be travelling by Frontier mail.
Male- No male member is allowed to stay with the patient.


Root- The root gives strength to the tree.
Rout- The Mughal army was badly routed.
Rcute – I took a different route to reach here today.


Fair- (i) The bride is of fair complecion.
(ii) We expect the Judge to be fair in his judgement.
Fare- The railway fares have gone up with effect from 1st of April.


Pain- It is easy to beat physical pain rather than mental agony.
Pane- The boys while playing cricket broke the window pane.


Main- What is the main cause for inflation?
Mane- The lion seemed to be proud of his mane.


Read- It is important to read one’s lesson many times.
Reed- He writes with a reed pen. 


Way- Can you tell me the way to the nearest petrol pump?
Weigh- The oranges weigh 4 kilograms.


Air- A ballon filled with hot air goes up the sky.
Heir- The king’s eldest son is heir to the throne. 


Corporal- I am against corporal punishment to children.
Corporeal- Heavenly beings are not corporeal.


Liar- Do not believe him, he is a liar.
Lawyer- My uncle is an eminent lawyer.


Metal- Silver is a precious metal.
Mettle- Gandhiji was a man of mettle and so was respected by everyone.


Sore- His eyes are sore.Sour- The grapes are sour.


Corps- My brother has joined in the National Cadet Corps.
Corpse- His corpse was carried to the cremation ground with military honours.


Differ- I have to differ with you on this matter.
Defer- he has deferred his decision to resign for some time.


Affect- Smoking affects the lungs badly.
              He affects to be innocent.
Effect- The old man’s advice had no effect on the boy.
             The convict effected his escape from jail at midnight.


Minor- He has no voting right because he is still a minor.
Miner- In the bomb explosion, at least twelve miners lost their lives.


Blue – Blue is his favourite colour.
Blew- The referee blew his whistle and the game was up.


Bore- The teacher bored the students.
Boar- A boar is a wild animal.


Moral- The moral of the story is --- Look before you leap.
Morale- His inspired performance boosted up the morale of the team.


Stairs- I fractured my leg when I slipped while climbing the stairs.
Stare- He has got a habit of staring a people.


Dual- There re forty dual in this classroom.
Duel- It was a matter of Prestige. So, they decided to settle it with a duel.


Check- You must check your expenses before it is too late.
Cheque- He signed a blank cheque and asked me to fill the amount.


Assay- This ore assays high in gold.
Essay- His essays on “ trends in Modern Society’ won the first prize.


Advice- I asked the doctor for his advice.
Advise- The doctor advised me to take proper rest.


Ail- What ails thee, gentle lord?
Ale- Ale houses have been closed in Pakistan.


Aspire- All aspire after wordly pleasure.
Expire- His father expired only last month.


Avocation - Writing articles for magazines is her avocation.
Vocation- His vocations is teachings.


Allay- Your present statement has allayed my fears.
Alley- There are many alleys in old Delhi.
Alloy- An alloy is a metal made by mixing two or more different metals.


Amiable- His amiable manners win him respect everywhere.
Amicable- India and Pakistan have been trying for an amicable settlement on the border issue.


Beneficial- His holiday has had a beneficial effect.
Beneficent-He is a beneficent patron of our organisation.


Childish- His childish behavior has annoyed many people.
Childlike- An honest man usually has a childlike qualities.


Complement- His honesty complements his simplicity.
Compliment- Mohan presented a book to his friend with compliments.


Official- According to official sources, there is am increase in this year’s food production.
Officious- His officious attitude towards his subordinates has made him unpopular.


Roll- Many years have rolled by since I joined the organization.
Role- She played the role of Maria in ‘Sound of Music’.


Sail- Let us go for a sail this afternoon.
Sell- Bad news sells newspaper.
Sale- Every company organizes an off-season sale in September and October.


Suite- Please reserve a suite for me in the Taj.
Suit- If you don’t make payment tomorrow, I will file a suit against you.
          The climate of India does not suit me.
          His woolen suit is imported from Canada.


Steal- One who steals my money steals a trash; one who steals my name steals everything.
Steel- steel is an alloy.
Still – The room was a still at the end of the speech. I have still to find out the truth.


Tenor- I understand the tenor of his speech but not the details.
Tenure- During his tenure, he introduced many reformative measures.


Tell- I will tell a tale about a tail.
Tale- Life is a tale told by an idiot.
Tail- The comet of 1841 A.D grew a tail which went 198,000,000 miles in space.


Umpire- The players refused to obey the umpire.
Empire- Mahatma Gandhi rang the death- knell of the British empire.


Veil- The thief escaped under the veil of the darkness.
Vale- The vale of Kashmir is a paradise on earth.


Access- Students need easy access to books.
Accession- His accessions to the throne, marked the beginnings of a new era.
Excess- Excess of anything is bad.


Accident- He met with a serious accident.
Incident- In a recent incident, two bombs exploded.


Addicted- he is addicted to grugs.
Devoted- She is devoted to her studies.


Allusion- her writhing is full of obscure literary allusions.
Illusion- Life is an illusion.


Artist- A painter is an artist.
Artisan- A carpenter is an artisan.
Artiste- She is being trained for singing by a professional srtiste.


Apposite- His remarks on that occasion were not very apposite.
Opposite- Black and white are opposites.


Battle- I can’t always white are opposites.
War- During World War II, many battles were fought.
Fight- One should always fight for one’s right.


Major- The play is a major success.
Measure- An hour is a measure of time.


Confess- I must confess , I hated their attitude.
Admit- The facts admit no other explanation.


Conscious – I am conscious of my weakness.
Conscientious- he is a conscientious worker.


Crime- It is the job of the police to prevent crime.
Vice- In spite of the presence of the police, there’s always a certain amount of vice in all big ities.


Discover- Columbus discovered America.
Invent- Watt invented the steam engine.


Disinterested- She seems completely disinterested in her work.
Uninterested- One should not be uninterested in one’s work.


Drown- He drowned himself in work.
Sink- His voice sank to a whisper.


Elicit- By cross- examination, he elicited the truth at last.
Illicit- He is involved in an illicit trade of drugs.


Eminent- He is an eminent scientist.
Imminent- War is imminent.


Eruption- That volcano is in a state of eruption.
Irruption- That violent irruption of soldiers into the building was condemned by all.


Fetch- Please, fetch me a clean handkerchief from my bedroom.
Bring- Please, bring me the book.


Formalism- I have no love for official formalism.
Formality- In Delhi, people are more after formality rather than developing genuine relationship.


Jealous- A jealous man can never be happy.
Zealous- He is a zealous intellectual.


Liberty- French revolution was for liberty, fraternity and equality of all people.
Freedom- In my bondage, is my freedom.


Loose- The animals broke loose and left the field.
Lose- He often loses his temper.


Lovable- He is a man of a lovable nature.
Lovely- Aishwarya Roy is a  lovely actress.


Memorable- No one can ever forget her memorable beauty.
Memorial- Shah Jahan erected a memorial in the memory of his wife.          


Popular- This design has always been popular.
Populous- Kolkata is a populous city.


Principal- He is the principal of the college.
Principle- One should stick to one’s principles.


Sensitive- A sensitive person is one whose feelings are easily hurt.
Sensible- A sensible person is one who possesses commonsense or intelligence.


Vacant- A mind vacant is a mind distresses.
Empty- Empty vessels sound much.


Spirituous- One should abstain from spirituous liquors.
Spiritual- I believe in a spiritual life.


Breath- His breath smelt of garlic.
Breathe- The team breathed confidence before the match.


Species- It is a rare specify of beetle.
Specify- The regulations specify that calculators may not be used in the examination.


Noble- He died for a noble cause.
Novel- He loves reading romantic novels.


Weak- her eyesight is rather weak.
Week- He comes to see us once a week.


Wicked- That was a wicked thing to do.
Wicked- Pakistan lost the match by five wickets.

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