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.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Confusing Words

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

Deplete means to empty; replete means to be filled with.

e.g. The workload has depleted me of energy and strength.
e.g. Your garage is replete with garden tools.

Common means shared or used by many; commonplace means ordinary and not very interesting.

e.g. To be healthy and wealthy is a common New Year’s resolution.
e.g. Running may be a commonplace sport for many. 


Sedative: calming or soothing. Sedentary: accustomed to sitting; physically inactive.

e.g. The doctor gave her some sedative medicine to put her to sleep.
e.g His sedentary work -- sitting in front of the computer -- took a toll on his health.
e.g. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle even if you are approaching 60..

Genteel: well-bred, polite; imitating the lifestyle of the rich. Gentle: kind, friendly, mild.

e.g. Your friend is genteel. Is he very rich?
e.g. All along he has been living in genteel poverty. He is not practical.
e.g. Be gentle to my puppy.

Arise: appear; begin. Rise: appear above the horizon; get out of bed.

e.g. When he was just about to call 911, a few men in uniform arose.
e.g. The sun rises in the east.
e.g. He rises very early every morning.

Ingenious is clever; ingenuous is natural, free from deceit.

e.g. I must say that was an ingenious way to steal the money.
e.g. His response was sincere and ingenuous.

Wander means to walk aimlessly; wonder means to consider or question some issue.

e.g. The hiker lost his direction and wandered in the forest for some hours.
e.g. I wondered if he would come to the birthday party. 

Stephen Lau
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