In a post last year, we went over some words that seem to confuse a lot of people. Today, we will look at a few more.
Adapt – to adjust to something. He will adapt to living in a new state.
Adept – proficient. She was adept at crocheting.
Adopt – to choose. They will adopt the more frugal lifestyle.
Adverse – harmful; hostile. The counsel was particularly adverse on that issue.
Averse – opposed to. She was averse to the alcohol at every meeting.
Advice – information; recommendation. The advice of the lawyer was to pay the fine.
Advise – to recommend; to give counsel. The lawyer advised her to gather all her documentation.
Already – previously. She had already been to Barcelona.
All ready – all prepared. But she was all ready to go to Cannes.
Alternate – substitute; to take turns. He was the alternate on the firm’s bowling league.
Alternative – one of several things from which to choose. She chose the pink purse as an alternative to the black purse, which was out of stock.
Anyone – anybody. He said that anyone could do her job.
Any one – Any one person in a group. Any one of them could have answered the phone.
Beside – by the side of; separate from. The dog was well trained and walked beside him when he was on the leash.
Besides – in addition to; also. Besides the insurance benefits, the new job also offered a profit sharing plan.
Born – brought into life. The baby was born on February 29.
Borne – carried; endured. The weight of the box was borne equally by the two men.
Breach – a breaking; a violation. By accepting her business, there was a breach of his contract.
Breech – the hind end of the body. The baby was born breech first.
Breath – respiration. She could not catch her breath after running from the building.
Breathe – to inhale and exhale. It was difficult to breathe with the smoke in the air.
Broach –to open; to introduce. He was afraid to broach the subject of a raise with his boss.
Brooch – ornament. Her grandmother’s brooch was definitely an antique.
Cannot – usual form meaning to be unable. He cannot lift 50 pounds.
Can not – two words in the phrase “can not only” (where “can” means “to be able”). She can not only play soccer, but she also plays softball.
Canvas – a course cloth. The tent was made of canvas.
Canvass – to solicit. The volunteers for the mayoral candidate canvassed the neighborhood asking for donations.
Caret – a wedge shaped mark. Some of the Latin capital letters have a caret over them.
Carat – a unit of weight for precious stones. She had a two carat diamond in her wedding ring.
Karat – A unit of fineness for gold. His ring was 14 karat gold.
I hope you learned something from this list. We will go into even more confusing words in another post.
If you have words that confuse you or have another question that you come across while proofreading, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.