The Most Commonly Confused Words in the English Language
and a Few Uncommon Ones Too
In English, homophones are groups of words that sound identical but have different meanings and spellings. Semi-homophones are sets of words that sound very similar in Standard English, and they are confused just as frequently as true homophones are. Sound-alike words are the bane of writers, editors, public speakers, and anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a well-educated professional.
The best way to master commonly confused words is to learn their precise meanings and practice using the correct word in different contexts. When you proofread your essays, reports, and creative pieces, this list of frequently misused words will serve as an invaluable reference. Over time, you will be able to distinguish these commonly mixed-up words and improve your English usage.
A lot means a great amount of something. Allot means to distribute.
A PART - APART
A part is a piece of something, as in "A part of me will always love you." Apart means excluding, separate, asunder. "Apart from your felony conviction, you would make a great employee." or "The tree house was torn apart."
ACCEPT - EXCEPT
To accept something is to embrace it, or take it. When you accept something, it is because you deem it acceptable. To except is to single out something. Think, "exception to the rule." Exceptional means different.
AD - ADD
An ad is an advertisement. To add is to compute a sum.
ADDITION - EDITION
An addition is something extra; think of adding. An edition is a version. "The new edition of the textbook will make an excellent addition to our library."
AFFECT - EFFECT
To affect something is to have an influence over it. To affect a behavior is to imitate a certain manner. "A man at the bar affects a British accent." As a noun, an affect means a displayed emotion. As a noun, an effect is a consequence; think, "cause and effect." As a verb, effect means to create or bring something about, as in "effect change."
AGAR - AUGER - AUGUR
Agar is a food substrate used in growing bacteria cultures in a lab. An auger is a screw-like tool. To augur is to predict the future.
ALL READY - ALREADY
Something that is all ready has been finalized; it is ready. This is an adjective expression that follows a noun clause. Already modifies verbs. "I already took the cookies out of the oven, so they are all ready to eat."
ALLOWED - ALOUD
Something allowed is permitted. Something done aloud is heard by others. "I'm not allowed to read aloud in the library."
ALLUDE - ELUDE
To allude is to hint at. To elude is escape, evade.
ALLUSION - ILLUSION
An allusion is something that is hinted at, something that is alluded to. An illusion is an optical phenomenon, something that you think you can see.
ALTAR - ALTER
An altar is a table where religious offerings are made. To alter is to change something.
APATITE - APPETITE
An apatite is a type of calcium phospate mineral whose general chemical formula is Ca10(PO4)6(Br, Cl, F, OH)2. An appetite is a desire, most commonly the desire to eat food.
APPRAISE - APPRISE
To appraise is to evaluate. To apprise is to inform. "I will apprise the board when the property appraisal is complete."
AREOLA - AUREOLA
The areola is the colored circle around a nipple, or any small annulus on the body that is different from surrounding skin, such as the inflamed region around a pimple. An aureola is a halo or aura surrounding a person, especially in paintings of religious figures.
ASSURE - ENSURE - INSURE
To assure is to promise. To ensure is to make something secure, or make sure that a plan is carried out. Assure is for people and ensure is for abstract concepts. To insure is to minimize financial losses. "I can assure you that we will ensure that all employees receive health insurance."
BAZAAR - BIZARRE
A bazaar is a marketplace or exhibition. Bizarre means weird. "I bought a bizarre painting at the bazaar."
BIANNUAL - BIENNIAL
A biannual event occurs twice a year. A biennial event occurs once every two years. The biennial anniversary is the two-year anniversary.
BOAR - BOER - BOOR - BORE
A boar is a large pig. A boor is an unrefined person with bad manners (perhaps acting like a boar). A bore is simply an uninteresting, boring person. As a verb, bore can either mean to drill a hole in something, or to make people lose interest. The Boers in southern Africa are Dutch-speaking people descended from the Dutch settlers.
BOOLEAN - BOUILLON - BULLION
In math and computing, Boolean algebra, Boolean operators, and Boolean logic are constructs named after the British mathematician and logician George Boole. In cuisine, bouillon is another word for broth. Bouillon cubes are chunks of dehydrated broth that can be reconstituted with water. The word bullion means a bulk quantity of any precious metal such as gold, silver, or platinum.
BOROUGH - BUREAU - BURRO - BURROW
A borough is section of a city or metropolitan area; it may or may not be self-governing. A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug by a small animal. A burro (pronounced BOO-ro with a rolled r) is a Spanish word for donkey. A bureau (pronounced BYUR-o) is a chest of drawers or a government agency.
BREAK - BRAKE
To break is to deconstruct. As a noun, a break is a pause. To brake is to stop a mechanical device, particularly a car.
CACHE - CASH
A cache is a store of goods to be retrieved later. In computing, many programs save cached copies of files. Cash is legal tender, aka, paper money. To cash out or cash in means to obtain money.
CAPITAL - CAPITOL
Capital can be a noun or an adjective. As an adjective, capital basically means large or important. As a noun, capital designates the city in which a government is seated. A capitol is strictly a building. "The Capitol is located in the capital."
CARAT - KARAT - CARET - CARROT
In jewelry appraisal, a carat is a measure of the pureness of gold; the word karat is simply a spelling variation of carat in this sense of the word. In gemology, carat is a unit of mass equal to 200mg; karat is not an alternative spelling in this sense of the word. In punctuation, the caret is the hat symbol ^. A carrot is a vegetable.
CENSOR - CENSURE - SENSOR
A censor is an official who regulates media or people's behavior on grounds of morality, decency, or other standards. To censor is to suppress expression or to act as a censor. To censure is to vehemently criticize or reproach someone. A censure is such an act. A sensor is a device that senses light, heat, radiation, the presence of some chemical, etc. "Marnie was censured for censoring opposing opinions on what brand of light sensor to buy for the lab."
CHIC - CHICK
Chic is pronounced like "sheek." It is a French word, and means fashionable, elegant, or stylish. Chick is a young chicken or a young woman.
CITE - SIGHT - SITE
To cite is to quote, or make a note of. "Always cite your references." Sight is the power of vision. A site is a place.
COMPLEMENT - COMPLIMENT
A compliment is a piece of flattery; to compliment someone is to say nice things about him or her. To complement is to match, to be coordinated. "Mary complimented Steve on his hat, which complemented his shoes."
CONCEDE - CONCEIT
To concede is to give in. The noun conceit means self-regard. "Cindy is not conceited; she conceded that she is ugly."
CONSCIENCE - CONSCIOUS
A conscience is an inner voice, often used to denote a sense of right and wrong. To be conscious is to be awake.
CONTINUALLY - CONTINUOUSLY
To do something continually is to do it on a regular schedule. To do something continuously is to do it without stopping. "The sun continually rises because the earth spins continuously."
COPYRIGHT - COPYWRITER
The copyright of a piece creative work is the creator's right to ownership. Any original work you create is automatically copyrighted under US law; there is no need to obtain a formal document. If someone owns the copyright to a piece, she owns the right to sell, copy, distribute, and alter the work, as well as the right to sell those rights.
A copywriter is a writer who creates advertising copy, someone who writes text for promotional usage. The career field is called copywriting.
CORE - CORPS - CORPSE
The core of something is its center. Core as a verb means to remove the core. A corps (pronounced COR) is a group of people with an assigned task. A corpse (the p and s are pronounced) is a dead body.
COUNCIL - COUNSEL
A council is a group of people who make rules. Counsel is advice. A councilor is a member of a council. A counselor (or sometimes spelled counsellor) is a person who gives advice, and is also a synonym for lawyer.
CUE - 'QUE - QUEUE
To cue is to signal. A cue is a prompt. The expression 'que is slang for barbecue. A queue is a line of people or an ordered list. "Ben will give the cue for Marcia to scream." "We'll fire up the 'que at 5 and eat at 7." "Your application is in the queue, and we will notify you when it has been processed."
DECENT - DESCENT - DISSENT
To be decent is to be appropriate. A descent is a decline; descend means to go down. The verb dissent means to disagree.
DEFUSE - DIFFUSE
To defuse a situation is to make it calm; think, "defusing a bomb." To be diffuse is to be very spread out. In physics, diffusion is when particles disperse.
DEPRECATION - DEPRECIATION
Deprecation is the act of belittling someone, or declaring something obsolete. "Our accounting software is deprecated." Depreciation is the loss of value over time. "Our accountant over-estimated the vehicles' depreciation.
DESERT - DESSERT
To desert someone is to leave them behind. A desert is a dry area of land with little vegetation. More obscurely, deserts signifies that which is deserved, as in the expression "just deserts." Dessert is a sweet food eaten after the main course.
DISCREET - DISCRETE
To be discreet is to hide certain activities that might arouse suspicion. In science and mathematics, a discrete process is one in which events are separated. The two e's in discrete are separated by the t.
DISBURSE - DISPERSE
To disperse is to scatter, to spread something over a large area. To disburse is to send payment. "John hired Cal to spread seeds over his field. After Cal dispersed the seeds, John disbursed Cal's payment."
DUAL - DUEL
Dual means complementary or paired; an object's dual is its natural counterpart. A duel a fight.
ELICIT - ILLICIT - SOLICIT
To elicit is to urge or bring about. "Her flawless piano recital elicited applause." To solicit is to sell. Something that is illicit is illegal. "She was illicitly soliciting sex."
EMIGRANT - IMMIGRANT
An emigrant is a person who leaves a country, and an immigrant is a person who comes to a country. The words essentially mean the same thing, but the usage depends on whether you want to focus on the point of origin, or the destination. In English, an example of the correct usage is "The immigrant from Mexico is an emigrant to the US."
EMINENT - IMMINENT, IMMANANT - IMMANENT
Eminent and imminent are two fairly common words in English that are often confused. To be eminent is to be prominent or important. Something imminent is impending, bound to happen.
The words immanant and immanent have more obscure meanings and are not often used in English. In mathematics, the immanant of a matrix is a number computed from the elements of the matrix, a generalization of the matrix determinant. In philosophy and theology, immanent means inherent, existing throughout and within the universe.
FAINT - FEINT, FAIN - FEIGN
To faint is to pass out, temporarily lose consciousness. A feint is an act of deception. To feign a mental or physical condition is to fake such a condition. The archaic word fain is unrelated to any of these words; it means to be ready, willing, or obliged.
FARTHER - FURTHER
Farther is used to compare distances. "My house is farther down the road than your house." Further is used to compare amounts or time; it can also mean additional, or to a greater degree. "We are much further along in our travels than the other team is. This requires further investigation."
FEAT - FEET - FÊTE
A feat is an accomplishment, usually something of difficulty. Feet is the plural of foot, both the body part and the unit of measure. In French, fête (pronounced FET) means a celebration or party. In English the word is often used as a verb meaning to commemorate with a party. "We fêted Senator Jones in honor of her feat."
FLACK - FLAK
During WW II, flak was slang for shells fired from anti-aircraft weapons. To "catch a lot of flak" is to receive a lot of criticism. This usage is often confused with flack, which is a person who works as a press agent or publicist. "The company's flack assured employees that the change in corporate structure would not affect their pay."
FLAIR - FLARE
A flair is a natural talent or distinctive style. "He has a flair for lyric poetry." A flare is a sudden burst of flame.
FLAUNT - FLOUT
To flaunt is to show off. To flout is to openly defy. "She flouts dress code rules by flaunting her new fake boobs."
FLOE - FLOW
A floe is a sheet of ice floating on a body of water, something much flatter than an iceberg. The phrase ice floe is redundant, but its usage is accepted. To flow is to move in a continuous motion.
FLORESCENCE - FLUORESCENCE
Florescence is a state of bloom and flowering. In chemistry and physics, fluorescence is the emission of light or radiation.
FOREBEAR - FORBEAR
A forebear is an ancestor. To forbear is to remain steady and control, to abstain from something.
FOREWORD - FORWARD
Forward is a direction; to go forward is to move ahead in space or in time. A foreword is a passage at the beginning of a book.
FORTUITOUS - FORTUNATE
Fortuitous means by chance, random. There is no positive association with this word; the chance occurence can be good or bad. "We had a fortuitous meeting on the street." Fortunate means favored by fortune or chance, something positive. "How fortunate that I won the liquor store's annual drawing. I needed to stock up for the party."
FRIAR - FRIER - FRYER
A friar is a male member of a religious order in the Catholic Church. A fryer is a person who fries food, or it may refer to a piece offood to be fried. "The friar bought three fryer chickens." Frier is an alternative spelling of fryer.
GAMBLE - GAMBOL
To gamble is to play games for money, or more generally, to take a risk. To gambol is to frolic.
GIBE - GYBE - JIBE - JIVE
To gibe is to mock or jeer at someone. In nautical jargon, to jibe is to shift sides when running before the wind, to make the fore-and-aft sail shift in this manner when altering course. Gybe is an alternative spelling of jibe. Jive is a style of music and dancing, used as either a verb or noun. As a verb, jive also means to tell a lie.
GRISLY - GRISTLY - GRIZZLY
Grisly means horrid, gruesome, or less commonly grim and formidable. Grizzly means graying or gray-haired. Gristly means full of gristle.
HANGAR - HANGER
A hangar is a storage facility for aircraft. A hanger is a hook-like object for hanging clothes.
HEW - HUE
To hew is to make, particularly to make out of wood. It can also mean to conform. A hue is a color. "Hugh could hew a wooden chair in a day, but he was color blind, so he couldn't tell what hue he was painting it."
HUMERUS - HUMOROUS
The humerus is the bone that spans the length between the shoulder and the elbow. The adjective humorous (British humourous) means funny.
HOARD - HORDE - WHORED
To hoard is to greedily collect and not share. A hoard is such a collection. A horde is a large group of people of animals. The past tense verb whored is slang that means to have been promiscuous.
HYDRAULIC - HYDROLOGIC
Hydraulics is an engineering discipline that deals with the flow of liquids through pipes and closed systems. The word comes from two Greek roots--hydro, meaning water, and aulos, meaning pipe. Hydrology is the study of water flow and distribution on Earth, a subfield of geology. Hydrologic is the adjective form of hydrology; there is no such word as hydrolic.
IDEAL - IDLE - IDOL - IDYLL
Ideal means optimal, the best in theory, though it may not be possible to achieve in practice. An idyll is a carefree fling or episode; it can also mean prose or poetry that deals with pastoral or light sentimental scenes. Idyllic means pastoral or unspoiled. An idol is an object of worship or praise, or a representation of a deity. To be idle means to be unengaged in any activity, not in use, or not intended to be used.
INCITE - INSIGHT - IN SIGHT
To incite is to initiate or start, often used with something negative. Think, "incite violence." An insight is a revelation, penetrating idea, or new thought. "Jenny gave us an insight into our dilemma." To be in sight is to be within someone's field of vision, or figuratively, within reach. "The next stage of development is in sight."
ITS - IT'S
Its is the possessive form of it. "The dog keeps eating its poop." It's is a contraction of it is or it has. "I think it's time to take the dog to the vet."
LIE - LAY
To lie is to recline. To lay an object is to set it. In general, lie is for people and lay is for objects. "Today, I lie in bed; yesterday, I lay in bed; and all my life I have lain in bed." "Today, I lay my keys on the table, just as I laid them yesterday, just as I have laid them every day."
LOSE - LOOSE
To lose something is to misplace it or get rid of it. The adjective loose is the opposite of tight. "Your skin looks loose, did you lose some weight?"
MANDREL - MANDRIL- MANDRILL
In machining, a mandrel a shaft inserted in an object to hold it in place while it is being worked on. A mandrel is also a spindle that holds a circular saw. The word mandril is a spelling variation of mandrel. A mandrill is a type of baboon with distinctive blue and red markings.
MEDAL - MEDDLE - METAL - METTLE
A medal is an award. It can be made of metal, which is a type of material. To meddle is to involve yourself where you are not wanted. "Stop meddling in my love life!" The noun mettle means courage and fortitude.
MNEMONIC - PNEUMONIC
A mnemonic device is a phrase that helps you remember something. The adjective mnemonic shares its root with Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory. Pneumatic refers to the lungs, as in pneumonia.
NAVAL - NAVEL
The adjective naval refers to the Navy. Your navel is your belly button.
PADDLE - PEDAL - PEDDLE - PETAL
To paddle is to row a boat with an oar. To pedal is to propel a bike with your feet. To peddle is to sell, particularly in an illicit manner. A petal is a part of a flower.
PALATE - PALETTE - PALLETTE - PALLET - PELLET
The palate is the roof of your mouth; the word can also be used to mean sense of taste. A palette is a plate artists use for mixing colors; it can also be used figuratively to mean an array. Pallette is an obscure term in the jargon of body armor; it means a rounded metal plate under the armpit. A pallet is a portable storage platform on which items are stacked; it is designed to be moved by a forklift. A pellet is a small, pill-shaped object.
PARAMETER - PERIMETER
In its most broad meaning, a parameter is a variable in an equation. The perimeter of a two-dimensional area is its boundary or the length of its boundary. "The perimeter of a 14 by 9 rectangle is 46." "One of my homework problems is to graph the function f(x) = ax2, where the parameter a is a positive number."
PEAK - PEEK - PIQUE
A peak is an apex, summit, the highest point of something. To peak is to reach the high point. To peek is to steal a glimpse. To pique is to excite or stimulate. "The science lecture piqued my interest in the reproductive cycle of deep-sea nudibranks."
PENDANT - PENNANT
A pendant is piece of jewelry that hangs on a chain, such as a necklace. A pennant is a banner or flag, most often used by navy vessels and sports teams.
PICNIC - PYKNIC
A picnic is a meal taken outdoors. To be pyknic is to be thick about the midsection, having an especially wide, squat, and barrel-shaped abodomen.
PIXELATED - PIXILATED
To pixelate an image is to break it into visible pixels; a pixelated image is not sharp and clear. Pixilated means prankish, crazy, silly, mentally disordered, or more rarely, intoxicated. It derives from the words "pixie" and "titillate." Pixilation is a stop-motion animation and filming technique.
POLE - POLL
A pole is a long metal cylinder. A poll is a survey. "I'm conducting a poll on the best pole dancer."
POOR - PORE - POUR
To be poor is to lack something, usually money. To pour is to let something flow. A pore is a small hole, often used to mean the microscopic holes in our skin. The verb pore means to study or meditate. "Bob pored over the refrigerator repair manual."
PRECEDE - PROCEED
To precede is to come before. To proceed is to follow, come afterwards. This pair of words is in alphabetical order to help you remember.
PRINCIPAL - PRINCIPLE
A principal is the head of a school. As an adjective, principal means primary. A principle is an idea, a concept that forms the basis for understanding something. "Our high school principal was reading Universal Principles of Design."
RAISE - RAZE - RISE
To raise is to lift. To raze is to destroy. To rise is to lift oneself. The verb raise is transitive, that is, it requires an object, as in "He raised the bar." But the rise is intransitive, as in "She rises in the morning."
RAIN - REIGN - REIN
Rain is liquid precipitation. Reign is a period of rule, as in "the king's reign." The verb rein means to harness.
RAPPEL - REPEL
To rappel is to descend a steep mountain by means of a double rope which is fixed above the climber. To repel something is to drive it away.
REEK - WREAK - WRECK
To reek is to have a terrible and strong odor. To wreak is to inflict, execute, or carry out. The word is most often used as in "wreak havoc," or "He wreaked his rage on the cashier." To wreck is to destroy. A wreck is a destroyed object.
REMUNERATION - RENUMERATION
Remuneration is payment, wages, salary, or other compensation. This word is commonly mispronounced and misspelled as renumeration. Renumeration means to count something for a second time. Peggy was remunerated for her work in renumerating the voting ballots. Just remember, if you want to use the word that means payment, the m is before the n.
ROLE - ROLL
A role is a part played by an actor, or more generally, a function that something performs. To roll is to spin or move.
ROO - ROUX - RUE
'Roo is short for kangaroo. In cooking, a roux is a sauce base prepared with butter and flour. The most common meaning of rue as a noun or verb is regret or to regret. Rue is also a medicinal plant with yellow flowers.
ROOT - ROUT - ROUTE
A root is what anchors a plant in the soil; more generally it can mean the origin. The word route can be pronounced to rhyme with either "out" or "boot;" it means a road or path. The verb rout (rhymes with "out") means to defeat an opponent, often followed by dispersal.
SECEDE - SUCCEED
To secede to break away from. To succeed is to triumph.
SHEAR - SHEER
To shear is to cut. Sometimes scissors are called shears. "Let's shear the sheep tomorrow." In physics, a shear is a lateral deformation caused by two sections sliding parallel to one another. The adjective sheer means transparent when referring to fabric. It can also mean pure, as in "It was sheer luck."
SHUDDER - SHUTTER
To shudder is to shiver, shake, or otherwise show fear or dislike. As a noun, shutters cover a portal to control how much light gets through, such as the shutter on a camera or window shutters. As a verb, to shutter means to close down or put shutters on something. "I shudder the thought of repainting the shutters on the 13th floor."
STATIONARY - STATIONERY
Stationary means fixed, immovable. Stationery is paper and envelopes.
STERLING - STIRLING
Sterling refers to British currency or the pureness of silver, as in "Pounds Sterling," or "sterling silver." It can also mean high quality. "Mark has a sterling reputation as an arts reporter."
Stirling is a surname that is often used as an adjective in the sciences. For example, the Stirling engine is named after the Scottish inventor Robert Stirling. In mathematics, the Stirling approximation formula is named after James Stirling.
STRAIGHT - STRAIT
In art and mathematics, straight means not curved or bent. More generally, straight means good, decent, or honest. In geography, a strait is a narrow passage between land that connects two larger bodies of water, such as the Strait of Gibraltar.
TENANT - TENEMENT - TENET
A tenant is a resident of a property. A tenement is a run-down, over-crowded apartment complex. Tenets are beliefs, articles of dogma held to be true by members of a religious group or movement. "The tenants of the old tenement were permanently evacuated after the fire. Many of the tenants belonged to a cult whose tenets stressed communal living."
THAN - THEN
Than is used in comparisons, as in "Thorvald is taller than Gene." Then is used for time, for denoting the order of events. "Clean your room, then we can go to the mall."
THEIR - THERE - THEY'RE
Their is the possessive form of "they," as in, "their side of the property line." There refers to location or existence. "There are some chickens over there." They're is a contraction of "they are," as in, "I see they're building another chicken coop."
TO - TOO - TWO
To indicates direction, but it is also used with verbs in idiomatic expressions. Too means also, or very. "I, too, drank too much wine." Two is a number. "Two bottles, to be exact."
TORRID - TORPID - TURBID - TURGID
Torrid means fiery, as in, "a torrid affair." Torpid means apathetic, sluggish, or dormant. Turbid means muddled, unclear, or opaque. Turgid means bloated, inflated, or pompous. "David's writing is both turbid and turgid; with all those fancy words, he still can't get his point across."
TORPITUDE - TURPITUDE
Torpitude is a state of sleepiness or sluggishness. Turpitude means depravity, vice, or wickedness.
TORTUOUS - TORTUROUS
Tortuous means winding or twisting. Torturous refers to torture.
TROOP - TROUPE
A troupe is a traveling company of performers, usually actors and singers. A troop is a large group of people or a military unit. Troop is the more general term while troupe has the more narrow meaning.
TURBAN - TURBINE
A turban is a head covering. A turbine (pronounced either TER-bin or TER-BINE) is a machine with a fluid-driven or wind-driven rotor.
VAIN - VANE - VEIN
To be vain is to be conceited. A vane is a blade moved by wind, as in "weather vane." Vane can also refer to the feather part of an arrow. A vein is a blood vessel that carries blood to the heart.
VILE - VIAL - VIOL
To be vile is to be extremely repulsive, offensive, or disgusting. A vial is a small container, often containing liquid. A viol is a musical instrument similar to a violin, but with more strings, a flat back, and played with a curved bow.
VIOLA - VOILÀ
A viola is a stringed instrument in the violin family, between the violin and cello. Voilà is a word of French origin meaning "there it is" or "there you have it."
People often attempt to spell voilà phonetically as "wala," "walla," or "wallah." These latter words actually have meanings in various languages and cultures. For instance, Wala is a goddess in the mythology of some Australian aboriginal groups. Wallah is a Hindi suffix denoting a person engaged in some activity.
WAIVE - WAVE, WAIVER - WAVER
To waive is to ignore or give up a claim, as in "She waived the entrance fee." A waiver is a record that something has been waived. "I received a fee waiver."
To wave is to move your hand or, more generally, to undulate back and forth, as in "waving wheat," and "ocean waves." To waver means to be unsure or undecided, to move back and forth on your decision.
WANDER - WONDER
To wander is to travel, stray, or move around. To wonder is to ponder, think, or be curious about something. A wonder is something marvelous or surprising. "I wonder why he is always wandering out back in the woods. It's a wonder he doesn't get lost."
WARE - WEAR - WHERE
Wares are goods or merchandise. Think of dining utensils, such as silverware and stemware. To wear is to use or deplete. "Wear some shoes." "Don't wear it out." Where refers to location. "Where do you think you're going?"
WARY - WEARY
To bewary is to be cautious, skeptical, watchful, or circumspect. To be weary is to be tired, fatigued, bored, or exhausted. "Sheila grew weary of keeping a wary eye on weird customer in the back."
WEAK - WEEK
To be weak is to have little energy or strength. A week is a period of seven consecutive days.
WEATHER -WETHER - WHETHER
Weather is a meteorological phenomenon. Whether expresses uncertainty. "I don't know whether we'll have good weather or bad." Wether is a more obscure agriculture term; it refers to a castrated goat or sheep.
WITHER - WHITHER
The most common definition of wither is to shrivel or to make something shrivel. "Sam withered in his mother's presence." More obscurely, to wither can also mean to resist. Whither is an adverb that meaning to which place. "Whither did Sam go? His mother is looking for him."
YOKE - YOLK
A yoke is a wooden beam used to harness two oxen together so that they can work as a pair. The yolk of an egg is the yellow center.
YORE - YOUR - YOU'RE
Yore means of a past era, a time long ago. Your is the possessive form of "you." You're is a contraction of "you are." "You're driving my car, and I'm driving your truck.
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