English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Confusing Words and Phrases


In the English language, there are many words that look similar and can be confusing, especially to ESL learners. 

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.

Arise / Rise

Arise: appear; begin.
e.g. When he was just about to call 911, a few men in uniform arose.

Rise: appear above the horizon; get out of bed.
e.g. The sun rises in the east.
e.g. He rises very early every morning.

Mellow / Melodious

Mellow: mature; soft and pure; rich and full.
e.g. As he continues to age, he become more mellow and compassionate.

Melodious: tuneful; pleasant to the ear.
e.g. He voice is melodious; he should be a singer.

Studio / Studious

Studio: a place where pictures are taken, or films are made.
e.g. The film was made in a Hollywood studio.

Studious: fond of study; careful and thoughtful.
e.g. To be a good scientist, you must be studious.

Defuse Diffuse

Defuse means to decrease the danger, such as deactivate a bomb; diffuse means to spread over a wide area.
e.g. It is difficult to defuse the conflicts in the Middle East.
e.g. Once you open the bottle of fragrant herbs, their scents will diffuse.

Perishable / Perishing

Perishable: liable to die quickly.
e.g. Fresh vegetables are perishable; put them in the refrigerator.
Perishing: causing suffering.
e.g. Negative thinking may cause perishing emotions and thoughts.

Lose Loose

Lose means being unable to find.
e.g. Here is your ticket to the game; don't lose it.
e.g. Don't lose your temper (become angry).

Loose means to set free or to become less tight.
e.g. You are too loose with your children (you have little or no control over them).

Waive / Wave

Waive: forgo or relinquish; wave: move.
e.g. If you sign this document, you will waive all your rights.
e.g. He was waving his hands at you.

Partake of 
/ Take part in

Partake of: share; take part in: perform.
e.g. The children will partake of the Christmas dinner.
e.g. The children will take part in the carol singing.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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