Languages Magazine

The Commonly Confused Words That English Learners Should Know

By Tlb
Words tha english learners should know: breakfast cereal flakes

Breakfast cereal flakes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is English really a difficult language to learn? Dye and Die are two different words with different meanings, but when someone speaks it out, you will have difficulties in identifying which is which depending on the usage of the context.


For some learners, they will really get confused with most of the English words that have the same or almost the same pronunciation. That is why when you learn English abroad;  you should really get to analyze each of the word you will encounter in.


Surely learners who will be able to learn English at language school in England will include these topics in their lessons. Here are some of those commonly confused words in English that you should really know.


Accept vs. except

Accept is to agree to receive or do

Except is not including


Advice vs. advise

Advice is the recommendations about what to do

Advise is to recommend something


Bazaar vs. bizarre

Bazaar is a Middle Eastern market

Bizarre means strange


Breach vs. breech

Breach means to break through, or break a rule; a gap

Breech is the back part of a gun barrel


Cereal vs. serial

Cereal is a grass producing an edible grain; a breakfast food made from grains

Serial is happening in a series


Complement vs. compliment

Complement means to add to so as to improve; an addition that improves something

Compliment is to praise or express approval; an admiring remark


Discreet vs. discrete

Discreet is being careful not to attract attention

Discrete means to be separate and distinct


Dual vs. duel

Dual is having two parts

Duel means a fight or contest between two people


Envelop vs. envelope

Envelop is to cover or surround

Envelope is a paper container for a letter


Exercise vs. exorcise

Exercise is the physical activity; to do physical activity

Exorcise means to drive out an evil spirit


Fawn vs. faun

Fawn is a young deer; light brown

Faun is a mythical being, part man, part goat

Foreword vs. forward

Foreword is what we call an introduction to a book

Forward means onwards, ahead


Freeze vs. frieze

Freeze is to turn to ice

Frieze is a decoration along a wall


Grisly vs. grizzly

Grisly means gruesome, revolting

Grizzly is a type of bear


Meter vs. metre

Meter is a measuring device

Metre is a metric unit; rhythm in verse


Stationary vs. stationery

Stationary means not moving

Stationery is writing materials


Wreath vs. wreathe

Wreath is what’s known as a ring-shaped arrangement of flowers etc.

Wreathe means to surround or encircle


Confused? Don’t be. A little knowing and analysis are enough to make these words easy.

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