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Which words do you tend to confuse the meanings of when writing in English?


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Two words which I tend to confuse the meanings of are comprise and include. The meanings are slightly different. Comprise means "consist of or be composed of." While include means "contain or regard as part of a whole." I also often confuse the words continual and continuous. Continual means "occurring repeatedly." While continuous means "going on without interruption." It's very easy to confuse the meanings of these words since they sound alike and are almost similar in meaning. So, what words do you confuse while doing your writings in English?

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There are many confusing word pairs in English that is easy to mix up. 

Advice vs Advise is one of them: Advice is what you give when you advise someone

"I asked my friend for advice.  She advised me never to take advice from anyone"

"If you ask my advice, I don't advise staying at that hotel."

Affect and Effect is one that I sometimes mix up,

Affect means to influence or change something

"The flu affected my ability to perform at the Olympics"

Effect refers to the result of something

"The effect of the  flu was that I did not win a medal.

I find when I am writing I usually know which one to use, but when I try to explain or deliberately chose, that's when I get mixed up. 

A good resource is EnglishGrammar101.  They have free lessons on confusing word pairs and many other aspects of grammar.  (I'm not in any way affiliated with them; I just know its a good resource that I've used)

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I pretty much in the same shoes as SarahRTW. I find it hard to differentiate between advice/advise and practice/practise. Even though I understand their meanings but applying them into the context I'm conveying always gets to me. Others are same words different spelling for American/British English.

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I'm usually confused by the use of past or passed in some specific sentences. I do know the difference of the definition of each, but whenever I come across the need for either, I usually have to pause and think about it for a second and sometimes I even have to double check.

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Baburra, I often have to pause when I write those words, too.  I find it especially annoying when that word occurs and I'm in the "zone" and I have to pause to analyze it again.  In the past I've gotten confused with the words: except and accept, but this is almost nonexistent now.

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There are two sets of words that I have trouble with whenever I try to use them. My problem is not with their meaning but instead how I apply them. They are,practise and practice and council and counsel. I find that I always have to stop to figure out whether or not I used the correct one or in the correct way.

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There are two sets of words that I have trouble with whenever I try to use them. My problem is not with their meaning but instead how I apply them. They are,practise and practice and council and counsel. I find that I always have to stop to figure out whether or not I used the correct one or in the correct way.

Not too surprising considering they not only look the same, but relate to the same sort of meaning. That said:

The difference between practice and practise relates to differences between American and British spelling/usage. In American English you will only use the spelling practice whether speaking of noun or verb. In British English you will use the spelling practice for the noun and the spelling practise for the verb. I can see why this is confusing.

In terms of council versus counsel it's about the same. A council is a group of people meeting to discuss policy or whatever i.e. it is a noun. To counsel is to provide advice i.e. it is a verb.  The difference here of course is that this convention works in both America and British English.

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I always have to double and triple check on "lose" and "loose" and "lying" and "laying", or "lie" and "lay". Those words always get me.

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