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Chapter 2: WORDS OFTEN CONFUSED II
A. Explain the difference in usage between the two words. Then see if you can create a
sentence that uses both words correctly.
1. medal, metal 4. quiet, quite 7. weak, week
2. miner, minor 5. shone, shown 8. who’s, whose
3. plain, plane 6. their, they’re 9. you’re, your
KEY: Examples–1. The winner’s medal was made of gold metal.
2. The saloon was open to miners, not minors.
3. Bill lived in a plain sod shanty on the plain and had never flown in a plane.
4. By three A.M. our street is quite quiet.
5. Blake was shown a tiger whose eyes shone bright in the forests of the night.
6. The hillbillies sold their mules, and they’re buying a newfangled car.
7. After a week of health foods, Walter still felt weak.
8. Who’s the clown whose car is parked on my lawn?
9. If you’re trying to earn high grades, sell your television set.
B. Spell the correct choice.
1. Losing ten games in a row was hard on our [moral / morale].
2. The sailors were happy to reach the [naval / navel] base.
3. You want a job? Talk to the [personal / personnel] manager.
4. Let’s take the next [plain / plane] to Hawaii.
5. The librarian told John Blabbermouth to be [quiet / quite].
6. Lisa couldn’t eat her big [stake / steak], so I helped her out.
7. Perfumed [stationary / stationery] is nothing to sniff at.
8. Hamlet wondered [weather / whether] his uncle was guilty of fratricide.
9. [Who’s / Whose] elbow hit my eye? [Who’s / Whose] to blame?
10. [You’re / Your] a fine friend! [You’re / Your] parrot swears at me.
11. The recycling center wants glass, paper, and [medal / metal].
12. The hot [desert / dessert] sun [shone / shown] on our ice cream.
13. Stop the car. I feel nauseous / nauseated].
14. Beavers [dammed / damned] the river. Well, I’ll be [dammed / damned].
C. Which word in each pair is commonly used as a verb?
1. flea, flee 3. meat, meet 5. prophecy, prophesy
2. loose, lose 4. passed, past 6. steal, steel
Chapter 2: WORDS OFTEN CONFUSED II
On a separate sheet of paper, number from 1 to 25 in a vertical column. Put your test
answers there. DO NOT MAKE MARKS ON THIS PRINTED SHEET.
Write in full the correct word that is in the brackets.
1. The golfer’s wife is the one who deserves the [metal / medal].
2. The drunken sailor fell off the [naval / navel] vessel and hasn’t had a drop
3. Plunged into our smog, Alma became [nauseous / nauseated].
4. I made hay while the sun [shone / shown] and got sunstroke.
5. We buried Jim face down, at his [personal / personnel] request, so he could see
where he was going.
6. Persuaded by a shotgun, the hillbilly gladly opted for a [marital / martial] knot
with the girl he had kissed.
7. Our team is consistent. We [loose / lose] every game.
8. I wonder [who’s / whose] soup has the fly in it. It adds protein.
9. Action equals reaction—that’s a Newtonian [principle / principal].
10. My surgery was [minor / miner], but the bill was major.
11. The sprinter [passed / past] me like a blue arrow.
12. Our rich neighbors have [there / their / they’re] garbage gift-wrapped.
13. Interest on savings is added to the [principle / principal].
14. Those fullbacks are bigger [then / than] gorillas.
15. Surgeons can repair a gall bladder by way of the [navel / naval].
16. By the time you can afford to order [stake / steak], you have no teeth.
17. Gabby was so [weak / week] she could hardly keep talking.
18. Don’t apply for a job on perfumed [stationery / stationary].
19. Fleas don’t improve a dog’s [moral / morale].
20. The ex-banker was [shown / shone] to his cell.
21. When the wing fell off our [plain / plane], the atheist began to pray.
22. In the [past / passed], girls wouldn’t even spit at me. Now they spit at me.
23. “Keep [quite / quit / quiet]!” bellowed the librarian.
24. Ms. Carmen married Mr. Cohen, and now she doesn’t know [weather /
whether] she’s Carmen or Cohen.
25. Please sign [your / you’re] test paper so nobody else gets blamed.
Please return this printed sheet to your instructor before you leave.
WORDS OFTEN CONFUSED
SUPPLEMENTARY CLASS EXERCISE
Class Exercise: Divide into panel groups. Each group will be responsible for discussing
and clarifying a segment of the following list for the benefit of the rest of the class.
1. addition, edition 31. envelop, envelope
2. aisle, isle 32. fair, fare
3. alley, ally 33. flea, flee
4. allowed, aloud 34. flour, flower
5. altar, alter 35. forth, fourth
6. anecdote, antidote 36. foul, fowl
7. angel, angle 37. heal, heel
8. ascent, assent 38. hear, here
9. bare, bear 39. hoarse, horse
10. base, bass 40. hole, whole
11. beach, beech 41. holey, holy
12. beat, beet 42. incidence, incidents
13. berth, birth 43. knew, new
14. board, bored 44. lessen, lesson
15. boarder, border 45. liable, libel
16. bridal, bridle 46. mantel, mantle
17. censor, censure 47. meat, meet
18. cereal, serial 48. pail, pale
19. chord, cord 49. peace, piece
20. coarse, course 50. picture, pitcher
21. council, counsel 51. pole, poll
22. costume, custom 52. pore, pour
23. dairy, diary 53. profit, prophet
24. dammed, damned 54. prophecy, prophesy
25. dear, deer 55. respectfully, respectively
26. deceased, diseased 56. ring, wring
27. device, devise 57. sail, sale
28. disinterested, uninterested 58. steal, steel
29. dyeing, dying 59. summary, summery
30. emigrate, immigrate 60. threw, through
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