Most Confusing English Words with Exercise: Part 1


Do you have confusion between 'advice' and 'advise'? Or do you find difficulty in choosing between 'lose' and 'loose'?

Go through today's article to learn the correct usage of such confusing words.

CEREAL & SERIAL

Cereal: 

Meaning: grain used to make food products
Examples
  • Give me a bowl of cereals. 
  • He prefers cereals for breakfast. 

Serial: 

Meaning: Television show (series)
Examples
  • His favourite serial is being telecast. 
  • They never miss any episode of the comedy serial. 

DESSERT & DESERT

Dessert

Meaning: Sweet dish served after a meal
Examples
  • The meal includes a dessert. 
  • The chocolate syrup is the perfect dessert. 

Desert

Meaning: Barron or uncultivated area
Examples
  • Drought and deforestation are turning the land into desert. 
  • It is difficult to survive in deserts. 

PRINCIPAL & PRINCIPLE

Principal

Meaning: Main, important or at higher position
Examples
  • He is a principal of our college. 
  • These are the principal cities of our country. 

Principle

Rules or standards
Examples
  • You should have knowledge of the basic principles of justice. 
  • He is a man of principles. 

STATIONERY & STATIONARY

Stationery

Meaning: Writing and office material like notebooks, pens, paper etc.
Examples
  • Get me a notebook from the office stationery. 
  • He is a stationery supplier. 

Stationary

Meaning: Not moving, or not changing in quantity or condition
Examples
  • A stationary vehicle is the cause of an accident. 
  • The population of the town is stationary. 

AVERSE & ADVERSE

Averse 

Meaning: Strong dislike or opposition to something
Examples
  • He is averse to sugar and oily items. 
  • She is averse to smoking and drinking. 

Adverse: 

Meaning: unfavourable or harmful
Examples
  • He performed well even under adverse conditions. 
  • Weather conditions are adverse in the town. 

ELICIT & ILLICIT

ELICIT

Meaning: Evoke or draw out(reactions, answers, facts) from someone
Examples
  • I tried to elicit the secret from him. 
  • The show elicits huge public interest. 

Illicit

Meaning: Something illegal or not allowed
Examples
  • The government is trying to end the illicit drugs trade. 
  • He is involved in illicit trade. 

DIARY and DAIRY

Diary

Meaning: A book to keep written record
Examples
  • Keep a diary for recording important events. 
  • I write in this diary every night. 

Dairy

Meaning: Relating to milk and milk products
Examples
  • Cheese is a dairy product. 
  • Milk will be delivered at your doorstep from our dairy. 

ADOPT & ADAPT

Adopt: 

Meaning: Making something legally your own or to follow something
Examples
  • They are planning to adopt a child. 
  • A couple has adopted two children. 

Adapt

Meaning: Adjusting oneself to an environment or condition
Examples
  • Kangaroos have adapted themselves to dry and infertile climate. 
  • You should adapt yourself to your company's policy. 

AFFECT & EFFECT

Affect: (Verb)
Meaning: To make a difference or having effect on
Examples
  • He was affected by the incident. 
  • He said that his health would not affect his performance. 
Effect: (Noun) 
Meaning: Result or consequence of an action
Examples
  • This had a negative effect on their relationship. 
  • Their attitude has a large effect on the results. 

COMPLEMENT & COMPLIMENT

Complement

Meaning: Complete something or someone or to make something perfect
Examples
Her footwear complement to her dress.
Accessories are an important complement to ladies attire.

Compliment

Meaning: Praising or admiration
Examples
  • She complimented my dress. 
  • She looked so beautiful that's why she received so many compliments. 

ADVICE & ADVISE

Advice: (Noun) 

Meaning: Guidance or recommendation offered, or opinion about what can be done.
Examples
  • Many lawyers in the city offer free advice. 
  • He should take advice from his doctor. 

Advise: (Verb) 

Meaning: to give advice, or to offer suggestions or counseling
Examples
  • I advised him to see a doctor. 
  • He advised his mother. 

LOSE & LOOSE

Lose: 

Meaning: To suffer the loss of something
Examples
  • I don't want to lose the opportunity. 
  • She was very upset about losing her job. 

Loose

Meaning: opposite of tight
Examples
  • Her dress is loose. 
  • The lid of the container is loose.

Exercise 


Check your knowledge by answering these questions:

Check your knowledge by answering these questions:

 QUESTION OPTIONS  CORRECT ANSWER
_____ are good for health.
cereal/ serial Cereals
The theme of the_____ is women empowerment.
cereal/ serial Serial
The ______ reason behind her failure was a lack of interest.
principal /principles principal
He has given resignation over a matter of ______
principal /principles principles
The sands of the _______ are entering grasslands.
desert/ dessert desert
Pancakes are perfect ______
desert/ dessert desserts
Avoid wearing these _____ t-shirts at the workplace.
lose /loose loose
It's a great loss to ______ a potential customer.
lose /loose lose
Sleeping pills are not _____
advise/advice advised
She gave me a lot of ______
advise/advice advice
He always receives ____  for his work. compliment/ complement compliments
A dessert is a ______ to a meal.
compliment/ complement complement
Soft music has a soothing ____
effect / affect effect
New rules would____the company.
effect / affect affect
He is reluctant to ____ to change. adapt/ adopt adapt
The committee is in favour of____ the proposal.

adapt/ adopt adopting
_____ products are a good source of energy.
dairy/ diary Dairy
He writes about his trips in his travel …… .
dairy/ diary diary
They are involved in the …… business.
illicit/ elicit illicit
He is worried as his work …… no reaction at all.
illicit/ elicit elicits
Taxes have an ……. effect on the industry.
adverse/ averse adverse
They are ….. to western music.
adverse/ averse averse
Our …… shop has a range of office supplies.
stationery/ stationary stationery
The camera is ……
stationery/ stationary stationary
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