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This chapter is from the book

Word Confusion

Some words sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Deciding which word to use can often lead to confusion (hence the title "Word Confusion"). One example is choosing between the words there, their, and they’re.

When it comes to the PRAXIS exam, be prepared to encounter some word confusion. For instance, a sentence may contain the word than when the correct word that should be used is then. An entire chapter or even a small book could be dedicated to word confusion, listing all the words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Table 3.3 lists some of the more common words that often confuse us.

Table 3.3 Examples of Word Confusion

Words

Description

Its/it’s

Use it’s to replace it is or it has. Use its to show ownership. For example:

 

It’s been snowing for three days.

 

I found the marker. Where is its lid?

Accept/except

She would accept the promotion, except someone had to be hired to fill her existing job role.

Their/there/they’re

They’re taking their boat down the road to park it over there.

Your/you’re

You’re going to have to pack your suitcase the night before.

Affect/effect

The doctor informed me that the medicine could have side effects, but it didn’t affect me.

Aid/aide

The job of the teacher’s aide was to aid any students who needed extra help.

Were/we’re/where

We’re going to the lake for the summer. Where did you say you were going?

That/which

The school that my brother used to attend, which is across the street from my parents’ house, is closing next year.

Break/brake

I had to get the brake in my car fixed on my lunch break.

Threw/through

I threw the baseball through the living room window.

Than/then

I had more experience than the other candidates.

 

We were going to the beach and then to our friend’s cabin.

Good/well

My son is a good hockey player; he skates well.

Fewer/less

There were fewer red ones than green ones.

 

Although I have fewer clients now, I still have less free time.

Last/recent

On our most recent visit to the city, we went to see the last concert before the theater was permanently closed.

Right/write

I asked her to write down the directions so that I would remember where to turn right.

Sense/since

I have a much better sense of direction since I have been exploring the city.

Anticipate/expect

I am trying to anticipate the number of people at the party; I expect there will be about 400 guests.

Confident/confidant

She informed her confidant of the situation; she was confident the information would not be made public.

Now/know/no

After realizing the dangers of it, I now know why my parents always said no when I asked for a dirt bike.

Passed/past

In the past, we would have always passed slow drivers on this street.

Quiet/quit/quite

The staff was quite shocked and quiet when the vice-president announced his intent to quit the company.

Precede/proceed

We had to proceed with the final speaker because the one who was to precede her did not show up.

Later/latter

\We will deal with the latter issue at a later date.

Which/who

Which should only be used when referring to objects. Who should be used to refer to people.

 

His cousin, who lives in Maine, came to visit.

 

Which car do you like?

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