Commonly Confused English Words

adverse: unfavorable
averse: opposed

affect: to influence
effect: to bring about

allusion: an indirect reference
illusion: an unreal impression

appraise: to set a value on
apprise: to inform

biannual: occurring twice a year
biennial: occurring every two years

capital: the seat of government
capitol: building where a legislature meets

complement: to make complete; something that completes
compliment: to praise; praise

counselor: one who gives advice or counsel
councilor: a member of a council

denote: to mean
connote: to suggest beyond the explicit meaning

discreet: prudent
discrete: separate, distinct

disinterested: impartial
uninterested: without interest

elicit: to draw or bring out
illicit: illegal

emigrate: to leave for another place of residence
immigrate: to come to another place of residence

ensure: to make certain
insure: to protect against
assure: to inform postively or confidently

exalt: to glorify
exult: to rejoice

farther: at a greater distance
further: to a greater extent or degree

fewer: a smaller number (of things)
less: a smaller amount (of something)

grisly: inspiring horror or great fear
grizzly: sprinkled or streaked with gray

historic: important in history
historical: relating to history

hoard: a supply stored up and often hidden
horde: a teeming croud or throng

immanent: inherent; residing within
imminent: ready to take place
eminent: standing out

imminent: ready to take place
eminent: standing out

imply: to suggest but not explicitly; to entail
infer: to assume or understand information not relayed explicitly

include: used when the items following are part of a whole
comprise: used when the items following are all of a whole

incredible: unbelievable
incredulous: skeptical

ingenious: clever
ingenuous: innocent

it's: it is
its: a possessive adjective

lay: to put or place
lie: (intransitive) to recline or rest

oral: spoken, as opposed to written
verbal: relating to ********

principal: n., business owner, head of school; adj., most important
principle: a basic law or truth; a moral or ethical standard

prostrate: stretched out face down
prostate: relating to prostate gland

set: to place; to cause someone or something to sit
sit: to rest on the buttocks or haunches

their: belonging to them
there: in that place
they're: they are

who:nominative case
whom: ******ive case

your:belonging to you
you're: you are