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Clearing Up Confusing Words

Many words in English cause confusion because they sound or look alike. Here are a few rules to help you with some common but tricky words.

Rule 1: The word accept means to agree; to receive. The word except means but, with the exception that.

Examples:
I accept your apology.

I'll eat anything except cottage cheese.

Rule 2: The word allusion means an indirect mention of something. The word illusion means false perception.

Examples:
In her novel, the author made an allusion to her own childhood. OR The author alluded to her own childhood.

The magician created the illusion that the rabbit disappeared right before our eyes.

Rule 3: The word complement means completing part. The word compliment means praise.

Examples:
Their algebra textbook won awards because her math skills complemented his writing skills beautifully.

I want to compliment you on your beautiful singing voice.

Click here to see many more Confusing Words and Homonyms clarified with examples.

Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are unable to respond to individual English usage questions.


Pop Quiz

Choose the correct word in each sentence. Scroll down to view answers.

1. I cannot accept/except the fact that he doesnít want to invest in real estate with me.

2. Einstein was the first scientist to point out that the perception of time as linear is an allusion/illusion.

3. My husband gave me such a nice complement/compliment when he said that my proofreading skills were as sharp as his editorís.


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Pop Quiz Answers

1. I cannot accept the fact that he doesn’t want to invest in real estate with me.

2. Einstein was the first scientist to point out that the perception of time as linear is an illusion.

3. My husband gave me such a nice compliment when he said that my proofreading skills were as sharp as his editor’s.


Wordplay

Thank you to Sandra and Lyndall for submitting these riddles. Scroll down to view answers.

1. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

2. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?


68 One-Minute English Usage Videos

English In A Snap: 68 One-Minute English Usage Videos FREE 

Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.


Wordplay Answers

1. Incorrectly

2. Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere


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