Most Confusing English Words with Exercise: Part 12

VILE & VIAL

VILE

Meaning: Extremely unpleasant.
Example: He has a vile temper.

VIAL

Meaning: A small container, typically cylindrical and made of glass, used especially for holding liquid medicines.
Example: Leaf tissue was placed in vials containing silica gel.



PALETTE & PALATE

PALETTE

Meaning: A thin board or slab on which an artist lays and mixes colors.
Example: She is holding a palette and a paintbrush in her hands.

PALATE

Meaning: The roof of the mouth, separating the cavities of the mouth and nose in vertebrates.
Example: I brush the upper palate of my mouth and use my alcohol-free mouthwash.

SHEER & SHEAR

SHEER

Meaning: Nothing other than.
Example: She giggled with sheer delight.

SHEAR

Meaning: Cut off.
Example: They keep the rabbits and shear the wool off them.

SYMBOL & CYMBAL

SYMBOL

Meaning: A mark or character used for representation.
Example: The chemical symbol for helium is He.

CYMBAL

Meaning: A musical instrument.
Example: A variety of suspended cymbals is made for the drum kit.

SLAY & SLEIGH

SLAY

Meaning: Kill a person or animal in a violent way.
Example: In certain tribes, one had to slay a lion to prove one's manhood.

SLEIGH

Meaning: A sledge drawn by horses or reindeer, especially one used for passengers.
Example: We invested in some sleighs a few years back.

SEAM & SEEM

SEAM

Meaning: A line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment or other article.
Example: Stitch a shoulder seam from the pin to the end of the fabric.

SEEM

Meaning: Give the impression of being something or having a particular quality.
Example: He seemed annoyed.

MEET & MEAT

MEET

Meaning: Arrange or happen to come into the presence or company of someone.
Example: They arranged to meet up that afternoon.

MEAT

Meaning: The flesh of an animal.
Example: Place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately.

TAIL & TALE

TAIL

Meaning: The hindmost part of an animal.
Example: The dog's tail began to wag frantically.

TALE

Meaning: A fictitious or true narrative or story.
Example: A delightful children's tale.

MAIN & MANE

MAIN

Meaning: Chief in size or importance.
Example: The main problem is one of the resources.

MANE

Meaning: A growth of long hair on the neck of a horse, lion, or other mammals. 
Example: The horse was rushing about in the field, tossing its mane.

WEEK & WEAK

WEEK

Meaning: A period of seven days.
Example: The course lasts sixteen weeks.

WEAK

Meaning: Lacking the power to perform physically demanding tasks.
Example: She was recovering from flu, and was very weak.

Test Your Memory

1 The smell is sometimes so ....... (Vile/vial)
2 One of the envelopes contained a ....... (Vile/vial)
3 The artist's easel, paint box, ......, paintbrushes and dried tubes of paint occupied a corner. (Palette/palate)
4 It causes white patches on the tongue and ....... (Palette/palate)
5 She has made a life for himself through hard work, ...... determination. (Sheer/shear)
6 The price of wool is still very low and it still hardly covers the cost of ....... the wool off a sheep's back. (Sheer/shear)
7 Basic musical ...... are used in standard musical notation. (Synbols/cymbals)
8 The teacher gave each kid a rhythm instrument to play - drums, ......, sticks, and so on. (Synbols/cymbals)
9 A dog was ...... by the beast. (Slayed/sleighed)
10 There are six ...... drawn by three horses each. (Slay/sleigh)
11 The inside ...... do not create any discomfort or cause itching. (Seem/seam)
12 There ....... to be plenty to eat. (Seem/seam)
13 I get on a bus to ...... up with some friends of mine. (Meet/meat)
14 They encourage imports of ......, fruit, vegetables, and wine. (Meet/meat)
15 15 Its ...... and flight feathers are black. (Tail/tale)
16 She enjoyed hearing others tell their ....... . (Tail/tale)
17 This is the ...... road. (Mane/main)
18 Male lions develop thick woolly ......on the neck and shoulders. (Mane/main)
19 Days turned into weeks and ...... into months. (Weak/week)
20 Her legs were ...... from lack of exercise. (Weak/week)

Answers

1. Vile
2. Vial
3. Palettes
4. Palate
5. Sheer
6. Shearing
7. Symbols
8. Cymbals
9. Slain
10. Sleighs
11. Seams
12. Seems
13. Meet
14. Meat
15. Tail
16. Tales
17. Main
18. Manes
19. Weeks
20. Weak

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