English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Confusing Words

Sensual / Sensuous

Sensual: related to the body; sensuous: related to the five senses.
e.g. It is difficult to be spiritual when one focuses too much on sensual pleasures.
e.g. The painter is able to provide some sensuous images in his painting.
  
Irritable / Irritant
I
rritable means easily made angry; irritant means causing anger or discomfort.
e.g. He has a short temper and is easily irritable.
e.g. Nobody likes him because of his irritant behavior.

Right / Rightly

Right: immediately; rightly: justly, correctly.

e.g. Do it right now.
e.g. Do it right away.
e.g. I rightly canceled the trip.
e.g. We refused the offer, and rightly so.

Sensual / Sensuous

Sensual: related to the body; sensuous: related to the five senses.
e.g. It is difficult to be spiritual when one focuses too much on sensual pleasures.
e.g. The painter is able to provide some sensuous images in his painting.

Defer / Infer

Defer: give way or yield to; infer: conclude.
e.g. He is a good kid: he always defers to his parents' wishes.
e.g. We can infer from your statement that you don't like this policy.

Potent / Potential

Potent: strong, powerful; potential: power that could be, but is not yet.
e.g. He is a potent politician.
e.g. He has great potential in American politics.

Compare to / Compare with

Compare to: state a resemblance to; compare with: put side by side to find out the similarities and differences.
e.g. The poet compares living in this modern world to riding on a bullet train.
e.g. If you compare Plan A with Plan B, you will know that Plan B is much better than Plan A. 

All / All of

All is used for amount, quantity, distance, and length of time.
e.g. all the money, all the way, all day, all night,
All of is used when a simple pronoun follows.
e.g. all of it, all of you, all of us.
All and all of may be used when it refers to number.
e.g. All or all of the employees are satisfied with the new policy.
e.g. All or all of the children in the family have gone to college.

Mediate / Meditate

Mediate means to act as a peacemaker; meditate means to think deeply.
e.g. The Secretary of State is trying to mediate between the two warring nations.
e.g. He meditated revenge after he was insulted by his coworkers.
  
Reverend / Reverent

Reverend: worthy of respect; reverent: showing respect.
e.g. Have you met the Rev. Mr. Johnson?
e.g. He gave a reverent speech on drug addiction.

In regard to / As regards

Both mean with reference to.

e.g. As regards your performance, I think you did a good job (no “to”).
e.g. She is very generous in regard to charity donation.


Stephen Lau
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