Confusing Words Exercise
Employers complain about employees who can’t spell or who confuse common words. Help your students be better prepared for workplace expectations with this 15-sentence exercise on confusing words. An answer key follows.
- In business reports writers must (site, cite, sight) their sources of information.
- It is (to, too, two) soon to know whether either of the (to, too, two) plans will work.
- My manager checks sales (everyday, every day) as part of his (everyday, every day) routine.
- After the restructuring, the company (then, than) offered higher salaries (then, than) anyone expected.
- (Their, There, They’re) going to put (their, there, they’re) backpacks over (their, there, they’re).
- News of the merger immediately (effected, affected) the stock market.
- Elena was surprised and (greatful, grateful) when she received the award.
- His (principal, principle) reason for taking the job was its location.
- The hotel (formally, formerly) known as the Sands (formally, formerly) reopened as the Oasis.
- If there are no (farther, further) objections, we will (precede, proceed) with the agenda items.
- We should not (infer, imply) agreement with an Asian’s head nod; it may merely mean I hear what you are saying.
- The CEO had a (stationery, stationary) bicycle in his office.
- She was so frightened that her eyes (wavered, waivered) from side to side.
- When flames began to (envelop, envelope) the building, firefighters knew they were losing the battle.
- Rick was certain he could finish the 16-week (coarse, course).
Confusing Words Key
- In business reports writers must cite their sources of information.
cite: to quote; to summon
sight: a view; to see
- It is too soon to know whether either of the two plans will work.
to: a preposition; the sign of the infinitive
too: an adverb meaning “also” or “to an excessive extent”
two: a number
- My manager checks sales every day as part of his everyday routine.
every day: each single day
- After the restructuring, the company then offered higher salaries than anyone expected.
then: adverb meaning “at that time”
than: conjunction showing comparison
- They’re going to put their backpacks over there.
they’re: a contraction of “they are”
their: possessive form of they
there: at that place or point
- News of the merger immediately affected the stock market.
affect: to influence
effect: (n) outcome, result; (v) to bring about, to create
- Elena was surprised and grateful when she received the award.
greatful: misspelled word
- His principal reason for taking the job was its location.
principle: rule of action
principal: (n) capital sum; school official; (adj) chief
- The hotel formerly known as the Sands formally reopened as the Oasis.
formerly: in the past
formally: in a formal manner
- If there are no further objections, we will proceed with the agenda items.
further: additional precede: to go before
farther: a greater distance proceed: to continue
- We should not imply agreement with an Asian’s head nod; it may merely mean I hear what you are saying.
imply: to suggest indirectly
infer: to reach a conclusion
- The CEO had a stationary bicycle in his office.
stationery: writing material
- She was so frightened that her eyes wavered from side to side.
waiver: abandonment of a claim
waver: to shake or fluctuate
- When flames began to envelop the building, fire fighters knew they were losing
envelop: (v) to wrap, surround, or conceal
envelope: (n) a container for a written message
- Rick was certain he could finish the 16-week course.
coarse: rough texture
course: a route; a part of