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Words often confused

Same words having different meaning

Words often confused

Air          :               This air is pure.

                                You should not always air your views.

                                Don’t put on airs.

Bar         :               I want a bar of chocolate.

                                Don’t bar him from entering the room.

                                He is practicing in the bar.

Book      :               Please give me your book.

                                I want to book my ticket.

                                The police tried to book the thief.

Bank      :               Don’t bank on him.

                                He loves to sit on the bank of the river.

                                You have to open an account in the bank.

Act         :               I love to act in plays.

                                Don’t try to act smart.

                                This is a one- act play.

Principal:              Who is the principal of your college?

                                I want to keep the principal intact.

                            Please credit the interest on the principal into my account.

Place     :               From which place do you come?

                                What place did you secure?

                                Let us place him in the accounts department.

Rhyming words-Exercise

Read the sentences out aloud. Fill in the blank with the word that rhymes with the word in italics:-

1. I don’t care for the _________. ( animal )

2. Don’t stare like a __________. ( animal)

3. Name and fame are the ________. ( alike or similar )

4. All his mail has been put up for ______ ( money transaction )

5. Be calm and give your ____________. ( part of the hand )

6. Early or late you have to ________ (stay for some time, linger on )

7. He was told to be ______. ( to have courage )

8. He wants to run for _______. ( to be happy, to enjoy oneself )

9. They won by a _________. ( action in a game- cricket )

10.  Put off the light before you  _______. ( quarrel )


  1. bear,
  2. bear
  3. same
  4. sale
  5. palm
  6. wait
  7. bold
  8. fun
  9. run
  10. fight


Read the words .Learn the spellings and use them in sentences of your own.


Power, strength, forceUseful, advantageous, expedient
Knowledge, learning, wisdomSorrow, grief, agony, anguish
Anger, wrath, resentmentGain, attain, achieve
Absurd, funny, ridiculousCurse, bane, harm, hurt
Build, erect, constructExile, banish, exile, extradite
Brave, courageous, gallantSuffer, bear, endure
Respect, deference, reverenceBelief, faith, trust
Timid, shy, diffidentProfit, benefit, gain
Frank, candid, ingenuousBuild, make, construct, develop, create, synthesize
Event, occurrenceBusy, engaged, occupied
Unnecessary, needlessFrank, outspoken, candid
Clear, evidentArrest, apprehend, capture
Tell, say, describe, illustrate, elaborateDefend, protect, save, security
Adversity, calamity, miseryPure, chaste, virtuous
Imagination, fancyHide, conceal, disguise, cover
Polite, civil, courteousPraise, applaud, commend
Cunning, crafty, deceitfulConcern, anxiety, worry
Pardon, forgive, excuse, apologyGoal, destination, target
Faith, belief, credulityWill, determination, resolution, perseverance
Solitude, loneliness, desolationDisciple, pupil, student
Envy, jealousyDevotee, worshipper, votary
Tyrant, despot, autocratDisaster, tragedy, catastrophe
Understand, comprehendDiscard, reject, throwaway, trash, scrap
Gentle, tender, kindDiscord, disagreement, deny, reject
See, look, beholdDiscover, find, discern, excavate, dig
Return, restore, retreat, comebackDisgrace, dishonor, insult
danger, peril, hazardShow, exhibit, display, disclose
figure, type, symbolDispute, quarrel, controversy, conflict, fight
Enemy, foe, opponentDistress, trouble, grief, sorrow, misery, woe
Censure, reprimand, criticizeDistribute, divide, share
Savage, barbarian,Divine, Godlike, superhuman
Couple, pair, twinsFearful, awful, dreadful, frightful, horrifying, scary
Remember, recollect, recapitulate, reviseAttack, assault, aggression
Vacant, empty, void, desert, clear, vogueRise, elevation, ascent, hike, resurrect
Increase, enlarge, augmentRude, insolent, impertinent
Instigate, provoke, incite, inculcateGive up, forsake, abandon, desert
Regret, lament, deploreHelp, aid, support
Rare, scarce, feel badSkilful, adept, expert, apt
Hate, despise, scorn, detestConfess, acknowledge, admit,
Recover, regain,Clash, conflict, controversy
Strict, harsh, severeWin, conquer, overcome, achieve, succeed
Brief, concise, terse, shortConvict, criminal, captive, culprit
Wit, humorAdequate, ample, copious, enough, sufficient
Mistake, error, blunder, crime, defect, fault, mistake,Corrupt, dishonest, pervert
Cleverness, dexterity, skillGrow, cultivate, develop, improve
Prejudice, biasCurtail, reduce, shorten, lessen, nip, curb, cut
Dislike, hatred, aversion, detestDead, obsolete, extinct, gone
Pride, arrogance, insolenceDecide, settle, finalize
Deduce, infer, concludeDeed, action, work
Deliver, redeem, rescueDefer, delay postpone
Dejection, despair, despondency, dismay, disappointmentDenounce, censure, accuse
Demolish, destroy, wreck, ruinDepict, exhibit, show, expose
Serious, earnest, solemnJoy, ecstasy, bliss
Effort, attempt, endeavorEmerge, arise, come forth
Encourage, inspire, emboldenEndure, suffer, sustain
Huge, enormous, stupendousEnthusiasm, zeal, fervor
Entreat, implore, requestAbolish, eradicate, uproot, exterminate, remove
Eternal, everlasting, perpetualFade, dim, vanish, dull, gloomy, light
Faint, swoon, dimFatal, deadly, lethal,
Fame, renown, repute, honorViolent, fierce
Stupid, dull, monotonousDynamic, vigorous, forceful
Courage, patience, enduranceGift, present
Gloom, darkness, dejection, dismay, dullFearful, gruesome, ghastly
Hardship, difficulty, calamityProud, haughty, arrogant
Haven, refuge, shelterHomage, respect, tribute
Horror, dead, terrorKind, tender, merciful
Modest, humble, submissiveIdeal, model, example
Ignoble, vile, detestableIllustrious, famous, renown
Immense, vast, great, huge, giganticImmortal, divine, everlasting, never-ending
Impediment, obstacle, hindrance, hurdleContinual, unceasing, incessant, nonstop, unending
Obvious, clear, evidentOffense, affront
Officious, interferingOppressive, tyrannical, cruel
Oust, evict, remove, eradicate, clear, exterminateCriminal, outlaw
Outstanding, remarkable, markOvercome, conquer, defeat
Pact, treaty, agreementPeak, summit, apex, top
Pensive, thoughtful, reflective, ponderEverlasting, perennial, endless
Perpetual, eternal, ceaselessPierce, penetrate, prick, move through, permeate, suck
Plausible, credible, believable, probablePlead, urge, solicit
Pledge, promise, vow, oathPonder, think reflect
Forbid, prohibitFreedom, liberty, independence
Indifference, apathy, unconcernIndustrious, diligent
Abbreviate, abridge, shortenAbhor, detest, hate, despise
Affinity, sympathy, kinshipAbundant, copious, ample, plentiful, profuse, bounteous
Accelerate, hasten, quickenAccomplish, fulfill, perform, do, complete, achieve, attain, effect
Adversary, enemy, opponentAccumulate, amass, collect, store, gather
Accuse, impeach, arraignAdversity, misfortune, calamity
Affliction, trouble, distress, pain, misery, sorrow, grief, calamity, misfortune, disease, sufferingAgitation, disturbance, perturbation, commotion, excitement
Allure, attract, charm, fascinate, entice, tempt, lureAnguish, pain, agony, suffering
Appease, pacify, assuage, mitigate, allay, calmAversion, dislike, hatred, repulsion, antipathy, repugnance
Benevolent, charitable, kind, philanthropic, good-natured, generousBright, brilliant, jubilant, lustrous, lucid, splendid, glaring, gay, intelligent
Conspicuous, prominent, salient, striking, notable, noticeable, remarkable, outstandingDangerous, risky, perilous, hazardous, precarious, delicate
Deteriorate, degenerate, declineEmancipate, free, liberate, deliver, inspire
Eradicate, eliminate, exterminate, Destroy, uprootExtravagant, profuse, lavish, prodigal, spend-thrift, Wasteful, profligate, excessive
Felicity, happiness, blissFerocious, fierce, savage, barbarous
Formidable, fearful, dreadful, dangerous, difficult, impassableFortitude, endurance, resolution, courage
Frailty, weakness, failing, foibleGratification, enjoyment, satisfaction
Humility, modesty, politenessImminent, threatening, impending
Impertinent, authoritative, dictatorialImpetuous, violent, ardent, vehement, ferocious, frantic, furious
Imposter, humbug, swindler, quackInvasion, attack, intrusion, incursion, visitation, encroachment
Laborious, assiduous, industriousLatent, dormant, hidden
Laudable, praiseworthy, commendatory, complimentary, panegyric, eulogisticLethargy, laziness, sluggishness, indolence, sloth
Malevolent, malign, malignant, virulent, hateful, evil, maliciousMitigate, appease, alleviate, soften, soothe, allay, relieve
Monotonous, boring, dull, flat, wearisome, drearyObliterate, destroy, efface
Obsequious, servile, slavishPacify, appease, propitiate, soothe, mollify

Idioms and Phrases

Read the sentences and check out the meaning of the idioms and phrases.

  1. Kavitha bought a cat
    Ravi brought a dog.
    They began to lead a cat and dog life.
    Always quarelling with each other
  2. He lies on the bed
    He made it himself
    He lies in the bed he has made.
  3. The birds made a nest.
    They made it with feathers
    He is suspected of feathering his own nest.
  4. Mr.Right and Mr.Left burnt a candle
    Mr.Right on one end and Mr.left on the other.
    I am afraid they are burning the candle at both ends.
  5. Look at his hands
    They are full.
    His hands are full.
  6. I have only two hands
    But many things to do.
    I have many projects on my hand.
  7. Here is the ink pad
    Put you thumb on it.
    He is under the thumb of his wife.
  8. Why did you close the door?
    To keep the wolf away
    Many educated young men find it difficult to keep the wolf away from the door.( Keep away starvation)
  9. He said he was going out on business
    It was a night, pitch dark, and the streets deserted
    He leapt in the dark (Without knowing the result midnight) to save the robber in the dead of night (Midnight).

Read the sentences and check out the meaning of the idioms and phrases.

  1. He took up the case.
    He argued it.
    He did not consider the pros and cons of the case.
  2. She served the sick
    Working through thick and thin.
    And wears the blue ribbon of service in the TB organization.
  3. The boy was generous.
    He gave away all he had.
    The boy has almost run through his fortune.
  4. I saw a stranger
    He ran into a house.
    The man was caught after a hot chase and run in.
  5. He has a spoon in his mouth.
    It is of silver.
    The young fellow was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
  6. He lit the lamp.
    It’s light dispelled darkness.
    He made light of his father’s warning.
  7. That man changes his clothes every day.
    He changes his religion too.
    The poor embrace any religion in a jiffy.
  8. The pied piper led the rats.
    But when refused to be paid his due, he led the children too.
    He refused to be led by the nose.
  9. She is a maiden.
    She gave a speech.
    As a maiden speech the attempt was good.
  10. The speech was short.
    It drew everybody’s attention to the seriousness of the matter.
    The laconic speech made everyone tongue-tied.

Read the sentences and check out the meaning of the idioms and phrases.

We locked the door and went out.
We found the door open.
The burglars broke into the house.

The manager was cross.
The employee was dismissed.
He was a black sheep in the company.

Who do you think would be the next CM?
There are no efficient ministers.
This is the burning question of the day.

The carpenter did not use a ruler.
He used his fingers for measurement.
The country carpenters always do things by the rule of thumb.
Any rough process of measurement

Two ladies appeared to be close friends.
One was cunning and the other a simpleton.
The cunning friend tried to gain promotion by making a cat’s paw of the simpleton.
To use another to accomplish one’s ends.

The boy behaved like a clown.
Everyone laughed at him.
He made himself a laughing stock by his clownish behavior.
Object of ridicule


Let’s learn to make di-syllabic, tri-syllabic and polysyllabic words.

1. A right understanding of the syllabification helps in understanding the spelling and pronunciation of the word. Make new words adding ‘er’ or ‘or’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Act, achieve, tract, teach, law, paint, sculpt, sing, play, dance, direct, lead, farm, train, teach, law, pot, bake, write, preach, garden, paint, read, shoot, hunt, rend, vote, create, direct, produce, collect, announce, prison, observe, follow, inform, build, attend, manage, employ, interview, labour, begin, distribute, rectify, retain, sin, boil, creep, lend, borrow, reform, remind, travel, garden, farm, print.

2. Make new words adding ‘ion’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Attract, content, confuse, direct, distinct, devote, perfect, posses, perfect, migrate, correct, select, reject, instruct, construct, , defect, devote, diffuse, direct, except, exert, infect, prevent, prohibit, locate, migrate, progress, protect, rebel, select, suggest, submit,

3. Make new words adding ‘ty’ or ‘ity’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Active, certain, crude, cruel, human, moral, complex, public, fertile, regular, scarce, special, frail, legal, loyal, punctual, rapid, real, vital, vulgar,

4. Make new words adding ‘ance’ or ‘ence’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Interfere, infer, observe, accept, adhere, annoy, allow, appear, emerge, defer, disturb , depend, prefer, persist, refer,

5. Make new words adding ‘ment’ and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Achieve, agree, align, amaze, amend, amuse, announce, attain, commit, confine, derail, embarrass, employ, harass, induce, indict, impede, punish, treat, state,

6. Make new words adding ‘ful’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Art, beauty, care, cheer, faith, harm, duty, force, joy, , pain, peace, play, power, truth, fright, sin, hand, mouth, thought, watch,

7. Make new words adding ‘al’ or ‘ual’ at the end of the word and make new words. Sometimes the spelling has to be checked:-

Act, critic, culture, fact, historic, practice, function, economic, education, monument, parent, universe, withdraw,

Rhyming Words

Vocabulary is the heart of a language. It is learnt through different methods. The first method is that of listening and repeating. Oral drilling is the simplest, easiest and best method, which enables the learner to understand the pronunciation. The most basic aspect of learning a language is to know and articulate words. Then comes spelling and usage.

A play way method of building, testing and absorbing vocabulary is the use of rhyming words. Oral drilling and practice, followed by learning the spelling and meaning is essential. It can be done with all the students in the class as a whole. The class can also be divided into groups. You can use the black board. If in the classroom, without a computer, keep a dictionary handy.

The key word is given. Students or each group will make as many words as possible. A time limit can also be set. Observe the difference in spelling and learn the right meaning of the word. Key Word and rhyming words

  • Air: bare, bear, care, dare fair, fare, hair, hare, mare, pair, pear, pare, rare, stare, tear, wear, ware, where, were
  • Boar: Bore, core, door, fore, four, lore, more, oar, ore, pour, pore, roar, soar, sore, tore, wore
  • Cot: ought, bought, brought, caught, drought, drought, fought, got, hot, lot, not, knot, naught, pot, rot, sort, sought, taught, taut, wart, wrought
  • Dame: aim, came, claim, fame, game, lame, maim, name, same, shame, tame
  • Ear: beer, clear, deer, dear, fear, gear, hear, here, jeer, leer, mere, near, peer, queer, rear, seer, steer, sear, tear, veer
  • Fort: court, coat, dote, goat, jolt, moat, note, port, quote, rote, vote, wrote
  • Gold: bold, cold, fold, hold, old, sold, told,
  • Hill: bill, fill, gill, hill, kill, mill, nil, pill, sill, till, will
  • Ink: brink, blink, drink, link, pink, sink, stink, think, wink
  • Jeep: creep, beep, deep, heap, keep, leap, peep, reap, seep, weep
  • Kite: bite, cite, fight, height, kite, light, might, night, right, site, sight, tight, write
  • Lyre: ire, fire, hire, mire, pyre, pier, sire, tyre, tier, tire, wire
  • May: bay, bray clay, day, gay, hay, lay, neigh, pay, ray, say, weigh
  • Nest: best, fest, jest, lest, pest, quest, rest, test, vest, west
  • Oar: bore, boar, core, door, fore, four, lore, more, ore, pour, pore, roar, soar, sore, tore, wore
  • Peach: beach, each, leech, preach, reach, teach
  • Queen: bean, been, dean, feign, lean, mean, seen, sheen, teen, wean
  • Rye: By, cry, dry, fry, fly, high, I, lie, my, nigh, pie, sigh, tie, try, vie, why
  • Sun: Bun, done, fun, gun, pun, run, son, ton, won
  • Tie: die, dye, fry, fie, high, I, lie, my, nigh, pie, rye, sigh, vie
  • Use: fuse, lose, loose, muse, ruse,
  • Veil: ale, ail, bail, bale, dale, fail, frail, gale, hail, jail, male, mail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sale, tail, tale, wail, whale
  • Weight: eight, sleight, gait,
  • Xmas: extra
  • Yak: back, hack, knack, lack, pack, rack, sack, whack
  • Zoom: boom, broom, doom, fume, groom, loom, room,


  1. Find the difference in meaning and spelling. Sometimes the spelling may be the same, but the meaning changes according to the usage. Identify the words. Make a list:-
    Ex. Bear /bare fair /fare hare /hair pair / pear wear / ware
  2. Learn to use the words in sentences of your own:-
    Ex. This is a bear. (animal) I cannot bear this noise. ( tolerate, put up with )
  3. Ask questions and elicit answers to make the learner familiar with the meaning and usage of words:-
    Ex. Where are the bears? Have you seen bears? They are in the zoo.