Easily misunderstood English pairs of words

There are a lot of words in English that have very similar spelling or pronunciation but very different meanings, and it is easy to get them confused. In our article today, we are going to show you a quick list of some regularly confused pairs of English words. Let’s take a look and find out the differences!

All together

Altogether (adverb)

All at once
Ex: We gather all together at the family meeting.

Ex: When we arrived at the top of the mountain, we were altogether exhausted.

Assent (noun)

Ascent (noun)

Ex: The manager gave his assent to the new marketing plan.

The act of climbing up
Ex: We began our ascent to the summit.

Climactic (adjective)

Climatic (adjective)

Very exciting
Ex: Tonight play was climactic, especially the touching final scene.

Relating to climate
Ex: Global warming has lead to the climatic change in many areas.

Complement (verb)

Compliment (verb)

To add something as to improve
Ex: The sweetness of milk complements the bitterness of coffee perfectly.

To praise, to make a remark
Ex: He compliments her on her new dress.

Desert (noun)

Dessert (noun)

A dry, vacant area
Ex: The travelers got lost in the desert.

The final sweet course of a meal
Ex: We had chocolate pudding for dessert.

Exercise (noun)

Exorcise (verb)

Physical activity
Ex: Doing exercise everyday can improve your health.

To eject an evil spirit
Ex: The evil spirit was exorcised from his body.

Ensure (verb)

Insure (verb)

To make sure that sth will happen
Ex: Please ensure to return books to the school library before next Friday.

To buy insurance
Ex: That diamond was insured for $10 million.

Loath (adjective)

Loathe (verb)

Ex: He was loath to prepare for his final exam.

To hate
Ex: She loathes her neighbors, since they always cause so much noise at night.


Stationery (noun)

Not moving
Ex: She remained stationary.

Writing materials
Ex: I love making stationery collection.


That is it for today. Another list of other easily confused pairs will be coming soon. Join us (hyperlink) or follow our fanpage (hyperlink) for latest update!

Featured image source: balihoo.com

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