Here are some of the frequently misused words:
Observable / Observant
Observable: can be seen or noticed; observant: quick to pay attention.
e.g. The solution to the problem is observable to many scientists.
e.g. To be a good scientist, you must be observant of all the relevant details and data.
Pretense / Pretension
Pretense is to make believe; pretension is a claim
e.g. She makes no pretense to like her mother-in-law. (She does not pretend that she likes her mother-in-law)
e.g. He made no pretension to that award. (He never claimed that he received that award)
Ingenious / Ingenuous
Ingenious is clever; ingenuous is natural, free from deceit.
e.g. I must say that was an ingenious way to fund the project.
e.g. The Mayor's response to the questions from the reporter was sincere and ingenuous.
Noteworthy / Noticeable
Noteworthy means deserving attention; noticeable means easily seen.
e.g. The candidate's accomplishments are noteworthy.
e.g. The flaws in the Governor's character are easily noticeable to the public.
Providing that / Provided that
Providing that is incorrect.
e.g. You can go out to play provided (that) you have finished your homework. (meaning: on condition that)
e.g. You can keep the book for another week providing that no one has reserved it (incorrect: provided that should be used instead)
e.g. The millionaire has helped the poor, providing many of them with food and shelter. (correct; meaning: giving or offering)
Indoor / Indoors
Indoor is an adjective; indoors is an adverb.
e.g. Bowling is an indoor game.
e.g. It's going to rain; let's go indoors.
Welcome / Welcomed
Welcome is an adjective or a verb; welcomed is a participle.
e.g. You are most welcome.
e.g. This is a welcome party for all newcomers.
e.g. I like to welcome all of you.
e.g. The guests were welcomed by all of us in front of the house.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau