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Language Arts

Easily Confused Words

A collection of articles on easily confused words. The articles present sets of easily confused words that are often substituted for each other, clearly explains the meaning of each, and provides mnemonics to assist in preventing future confusion.

Easily Confused Words Articles

Its vs. It's
Should you use it's or its? In this article we'll explore the differences of its vs. it's, define the words, compare both words, and find out why mistakes happen when using it's versus its. Find out more on contraction it's vs. its.

Your vs. You're
Explore when to use your or you're. This article explains the differences of you're vs. your and the uses of each. Compare the definition and proper grammar of you're versus your. Learn how to use your and you're.

Me, Myself, and I
Learn the differences and when to use the different cases of the pronoun me. When should you choose me versus I, and what situations call for myself? This article explains.

Lose vs. Loose
"Loose" and "lose" are often confused. Keep reading to find the definitions of the two similar-looking words "lose" and "loose." The article also compares when to use "lose" and when to use "loose."

Affect vs. Effect
Affect vs. Effect - learn the differences in meaning, usage, and origins of effect and affect. Find out when to use effect or affect. Also, tips on remembering the difference between affect versus effect.

Accept vs. Except
Except vs. Accept - when to use, how to pronounce, and definitions of each. Find out when to use except or accept - define:except and define:accept. Also, tips on how to remember the difference between accept and except.

A vs. An
A vs. An - when to use A or An. Find the meaning and usage of A versus An. Another lesson in our series on confusing words: A vs. An. Learn how to use An versus A.

Diffuse vs. Defuse
Defuse versus Diffuse - learn the differences in this article about two words that are often confused. Definitions of diffuse and defuse are included, as well as tips on how to remember the difference between diffuse and defuse.

Passed vs. Past
This article takes on the easily confused words Past vs. Passed. Learn when to use past or passed and the differences in meaning. Also tips on how to differentiate passed and past.

To vs. Too
Learn the definition of to and too. In this article, to vs. too, we define each and explain the correct usage of to or too. Define:to and Define:too in too versus to.

Than vs Then
When should you use "than" vs. "then"? This article explains when to use the easily confused words "than" and "then." Learn about the different parts of speech that "than" and "then" can be, their definitions, and how to differentiate them.

Their, There, They're
When is it appropriate to use "there" vs. "they're" vs. "their"? Is it ever proper to use "there're"? This article explains the differences between "there," "their," "they're" and "there're," and gives tips on distinguishing them.

Who’s vs Whose
When should you use who's vs. whose in a sentence? This article will clear up the confusion between who's and whose, provide examples of each, and give you some hints about when to use the contraction who's vs. the pronoun whose.

Immigration vs Emigration
Do you know the difference between immigration and emigration? In this article we compare immigration vs. emigration, define what immigration and emigration are, and offer tips on how to remember the difference.

Allusion vs Illusion
What is the difference between allusion and illusion? This article compares definitions of allusion vs illusion, as well as tips and tricks on remembering when it is proper to use illusion versus allusion, and distinguishing the difference.

Disburse vs Disperse
What is the difference between disperse and disburse? In this article we compare disburse vs disperse, give definitions of both disperse and disburse, and give you tips on when it is proper to use disperse or disburse.

Discreet vs Discrete
Discreet vs Discrete. Using discrete or discreet and be difficult to distinguish. This article has the definition for both discrete and discreet and tips on distinguishing the difference between discreet versus discrete.

Hoard vs Horde
Because neither "horde" nor "hoard" are commonly used, it's easy to confuse the spellings of these two homophones. This article defines both "horde" and "hoard," and will hopefully help you next time you ask yourself whether to use "horde" or "hoard."

Hangar vs Hanger
What is the difference between hangar and hanger? One can be a metal building found at an airport, while the other is a device for hanging clothes. Is hanger or hangar the one to use? This article will help you know when to use hanger vs. hanger.

Loath vs Loathe (and Loth)
This article defines both "loath" and "loathe." It will also help you distinguish the difference between "loathe" and "loath," so next time you will know whether to use the adjective "loath" or the verb "loathe."

Marinate vs. Marinade
How do you decide to use the word "marinade" vs. "marinate"? This article gives definitions for both "marinate" and "marinade."Keep reading for tips on choosing whether to use "marinade" or "marinate" in your writing.

Reign vs rein
One of the homophones "reign" and "rein" refers to control and the other to royalty. Do you know which is which? This article will define and compare "reign," "rein,"and "rain." From now on, you will know how to distinguish "rein," "reign," and "rain."

Levee vs Levy
Do you know the difference between "levy" and "levee"? Keep reading to learn the definition of both "levy" and "levee." This article also contains information on distinguishing the easily confused words "levee"and "levy."

Sight, Site, Cite
Although the homophones "sight," "site," and "cite" are all pronounced the same, they have different meanings and spellings. This article will define all three and provide tipsfor distinguishing whether to use "sight," "site," or "cite" in a sentence.

Can’t, Cant, Cannot
This article helps you compare and differentiate between three words related by spelling: "cannot," "can't," and "cant." It provides tips on how to remember which to use in a sentence an proper spelling of "cannot," "can't," and "cant."

Set vs Sit
This article helps to distinguish the easily confused words "set" and "sit." It gives examples of when "set" and "sit" are appropriate and clarifies their parts of speech. Keep reading to learn to distinguish "set" and "sit."

Lay vs Lie
Ever get confused between "lay" vs. "lie"? This article defines "lay" and "lie," assists with conjugation, and shows how to distinguish whether to use "lie" or"lay" in a sentence. Keep reading for more on "lie" vs "lay."

Patience vs Patients
Do you know the difference between "patience" and "patients"? This article defines "patients" and "patience" and will help you to distinguish the difference between these two easily confused words. Keep reading for more on "patients" vs. "patients."

Won't and Will Not
Won’t and will not don’t look like an obvious match for words that are connected, let alone nearly identicalThis article explains how to use "won't" and "will not" appropriately in sentences. Read on to discover more about this odd couple "won't" or "will not."

Less and Fewer
"Less" and "fewer" are two of the words that are referred to as quantifiers, but one is used for countable nouns and the other for non-count nouns. Keep reading for more information on "less" and "fewer."

Uninterested vs Disinterested
Should you use "uninterested" or "disinterested"? This article contains the definitions of uninterested and disinterested and provides a comparison of them. Keep reading for differences in uninterested versus disinterested.

Farther vs Further
"Farther" and "further" are very similar and often used interchangeably by people who don't understand the differences. This article will help tell the difference between "farther" and "further" and offer you examples of when to use each.

Eminent, Imminent, Immanent
"Eminent," "imminent," and "immanent" are three very similar words that are easily confused. This article defines, contrasts, and has tips on using  "eminent," "imminent," and "immanent."

There’s vs. Where’s
This article defines "there's" and "where's," gives examples of when to use "there's" and "where's," and offers tips to remember when to use "there's" versus "where's" when writing or speaking.

Proscribe vs Prescribe
This article defines the words "proscribe" and "prescribe," looks at the use of "proscribe" vs. "prescribe," and gives tips on how to differentiate "proscribe" from "prescribe." Keep reading for more information on "proscribe" and "prescribe."

Principal vs Principle
What is the difference between "principal" and "principle"? Keep reading to learn the definitions of "principal" and "principle" and when it is appropriate to use "principal" vs. "principle."

Imply vs Infer
Let’s take a look at "imply" vs. "infer." While the meaning of the two can sometimes seem identical "imply" and "infer." are actually antonyms. Read on to learn the difference between an implication and an inference and why the two are easily confused.

All Together vs Altogether
The problem with knowing whether to use "all together" vs "altogether" is part of a larger problem shared with the word pairs "all right" and "alright" and "all ready" and "already." Learn how to differentiate between these easily confused words in this article.

e.g. vs. i.e.
In this article "e.g." vs "i.e." we learn about the differences between "for example" and "that is" and when to use each. It can be confusing trying to decide whether to use "i.e." or "e.g." Read this "e.g." vs "i.e." article for a better understanding.

Desert vs Dessert
In this article "desert" vs. "dessert" the differences between the two words and the multiple meanings that can be associated with each are explained. Read this article to understand more about "desert" vs. "dessert."

Who, That, and Which
This article clarifies the distinctions between "who," "that," and "which," and how to choose between them. Keep reading to learn the parts of speech, pronunciation, and accepted US usage of the words "who," "that," and "which."

Continuous vs Continual
This article reviews the differences between the words "continuous" and "continual." Get some pointers on how to remember when to use "continuous" vs "continual" using mnemonics.

Anyone vs Any One
In this article "anyone" vs "any one," the differences between  "anyone" and "any one" and between "everyone" and "every one" are discussed.  Learn when it is appropriate to use each form. Get pointers to help you remember when to choose "anyone" vs "any one."

Appraise vs Apprise
This article explains the meanings of both "appraise" and "apprise" and how to remember when to use each of them. Also learn more about the word "apprize" and how it relates to "appraise" and "apprise."

Pedal vs Peddle
In this article, "Pedal vs. Peddle," we will look at the meaning of the easily confused words "pedal" and "peddle." Learn when to use each and tricks to remember the differences between "pedal" and "peddle."

Breath vs Breathe
In the English language, we find a number of word pairs that are identical except that one of them ends in "th," while the other ends in "the." "Breath" and "breathe" is one example. Let’s find out more about them so that we can have a context in which to understand "breath" and "breathe" in order to differentiate them.

Raise vs Rise
"Raise" and "rise" each are several parts of speech and have many meanings, so for the sake of this article, let’s just focus on the two main points of confusion, one of which has to do with the nouns"raise" and "rise," and one of which has to do with the verbs "raise" and "rise."

Censor vs Censure
Have trouble remembering the difference between "censor" and "censure"? Blame the Romans! The censors were two high-ranking magistrates with a role in the governance of Rome intermittently for more than 400 years, from B.C. 443 - B.C. 22. Keep reading to learn more.

Minor vs Miner
The confusion between minor and miner is an example of an issue stemming from homophonic endings -er and -or. We’ll look at the ending situation in order to provide a larger context in which to better understand how to differentiate the two words.

Beside vs Besides
Read this article to learn the differences between "beside" and. "besides." The article provides definitions and example sentences using "beside" and "besides." Also, learn techniques to help you remember the differences between these easily confused words and when it is appropriate to use "beside" vs. "besides."

Insure vs. Ensure
There is a lot of confusion when writing between the words insure, ensure and assure. Although, the meanings are similar there is a slight difference. This article explores the definitions and differences of insure, ensure and assure.

Separate vs. Seperate
There are many commonly misspelled words in the English language like the words Separate vs. Seperate. There are so many of these misspellings because so many letters sound the same upon different types of pronunciation, particularly vowels. Read on to learn the correct spelling of Separate vs. Seperate.

Yea vs. Yeah
When it comes to easily confused works, Yea vs. Yeah are two of the most commonly misused words. They are only different by one letter, but are not interchangeable. Keep reading to find out more about the difference in the meaning between yea and yeah.