English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Don't Confuse These Words

PERISHABLE / PERISHING

Perishable: liable to die or perish quickly.
e.g. Fresh vegetables are perishable if you don't put them in the refrigerator.

Perishing: causing suffering.
e.g. Negative thinking may cause perishing emotions and thoughts.

LIGHT / LIGHTEN

Light: (as a verb) come across; happen to find.
e.g. I lighted upon a very interesting book in the library.

Lighten (as a verb) brighten up; make something less heavy.
e.g. Can you lighten the dark corridor?
e.g. Your financial support lightened my burden.

NEURAL / NEUTRAL

Neural: having to do with brain cells or nervous system.
e.g. My brother is a neural scientist.

Neutral: not helping or taking any side.
e.g. He remained neutral in this controversial issue.

CONTRARY / CONTRAST

Contrary: the exact opposite
e.g. You think I did not help him. On the contrary, I did everything I could to help him.

Contrast: comparison.
e.g. Contrast may make you see things very differently

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.

INFER / IMPLY

Infer means read a meaning into or draw a conclusion from; imply means suggest.

e.g. What are we to infer from the President’s statement?
e.g. Are you implying that I took your money?

PORTEND / PORTENT

Portend: foretell.
e.g. These minor quakes might portend a big earthquake in the near future.

Portent: a sign or warning; a marvelous thing in the future.
e.g. A bright future is your portent.

CONTRIBUTION / CONTRITION

Contribution: donation; an act of helping and supporting.
e.g. Thank you for your contribution to the project.

Contrition: sincere sorrow for sin.
e.g. The convicted criminal showed contrition when he apologized to the family of the victim.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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