English words that often get confused
Sometimes people get words confused because they look or sound similar; some are confused because they are rarely used or because people hear other people misusing them.
We have 110 items in the database.
hoofs / hooves
These are two spellings of the same word, and both are accepted in the UK.
horde / hoard
A horde relates to groups of people. He was surrounded by a horde of autograph hunters. The Mongol horde swept down on the town. The word hoard relates to a collection of hidden coins, gold or food.
illusion / delusion
Illusions are ideas which are wrong; He has the illusion that he's good looking. The word delusion is used for ideas which are illogical and against all evidence, and is often linked to mental illness.
imply / infer
I imply and you infer. In other words, I hint at something and you pick up on my meaning. He implied that I was fat!I inferred from what he said that she was not to be trusted.
ingenious / ingenuous
The former means clever or inventive; He invented an ingenious way to open bottles. The latter means lacking in any false thoughts or dishonest motives.
its / it's
The word its indicates possession; He looked at its paws. It's = it is.
leeward / windward
The leeward side of a boat is the sheltered side; the windward side is exposed to the wind.
licence / license
With the noun, the former is the UK spelling and the latter is the US spelling. In the UK , the latter is the verb; The boat is licensed to carry 10 passengers.
lie / lay
If we place ourselves horizontally on the floor, then we lie down (verb tolie). If we did this yesterday, then we lay on the floor. I lay on the floor for an hour this morning doing my relaxation exercises. There is also the verb to lay which refers to, for example, laying a table. I laid the table at 8 o'clock.
lose / loose
If you drop something and cannot find it then you may lose it. If you have a tooth which is wobbly, then it is a loose tooth.
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