Jan 23

Commonly confused words – a comprehensive list

Commonly confused words

There are a lot of words in English that look or sound the same but have very different meanings, such as accept and except or affect and effect. Here’s a quick-reference list of pairs of words that sometimes cause people problems.


Word 1 Meaning Word 2 Meaning
accept to agree to receive or do except not including
adverse unfavorable, harmful averse strongly disliking; opposed
advice recommendations about what to do advise to recommend something
affect to change or make a difference to effect a result; to bring about a result
aisle a passage between rows of seats isle an island
all together all in one place, all at once altogether completely; on the whole
along moving or extending horizontally on a long referring to something of great length or time
aloud out loud allowed permitted
altar a sacred table in a church alter to change
amoral not concerned with right or wrong immoral not following accepted moral standards
appraise to assess apprise to inform someone
assent agreement, approval ascent the action of rising or climbing up
aural relating to the ears or hearing oral relating to the mouth; spoken
bare naked; to uncover bear to carry; to put up with;
large mammal
bazaar a Middle Eastern market bizarre strange
berth a bunk in a ship, train, etc. birth the emergence of a baby from the womb
born having started life borne carried
bough a branch of a tree bow to bend the head; the front of a ship
brake a device for stopping a vehicle; to stop a vehicle break to separate into pieces;
a pause
breach to break through, or break a rule; a gap breech the back part of a gun barrel
broach to raise a subject for discussion brooch a piece of jewellery
canvas a type of strong cloth canvass to seek people’s votes
censure to criticize strongly censor to ban parts of a book or film; a person who does this
cereal a grass producing an edible grain; a breakfast food made from grains serial happening in a series
chord a group of musical notes cord a length of string; a cord-like body part
climactic forming a climax climatic relating to climate
coarse rough course a direction; a school subject; part of a meal
complacent smug and self-satisfied complaisant willing to please
complement to add and improve; an addition that improves something compliment to praise or express approval;
an admiring remark
council a group of people who manage or advise counsel advice; to advise
cue a signal for action; a wooden rod queue a line of people or vehicles
curb to keep something in check; a control or limit kerb (in British English) the stone edge of a pavement
currant a dried grape current happening now; a flow of water, air, or electricity
defuse to make a situation less tense diffuse to spread over a wide area
desert a waterless, empty area;
to abandon someone
dessert the sweet part of a meal
discreet careful not to attract attention discrete separate and distinct
disinterested impartial uninterested not interested
draught a current of air draft a first version of a piece of writing
draw an even score at the end of a game drawer a sliding storage compartment
dual having two parts duel a fight or contest between two people
elicit to draw out a reply or reaction illicit not allowed by law or rules
ensure to make certain that something will happen insure to provide compensation if a person dies or property is damaged
envelop to cover or surround envelope a paper container for a letter
exercise physical activity; to do physical activity exorcise to drive out an evil spirit
fawn a young deer; light brown faun a mythical being, part man, part goat
flaunt to display ostentatiously flout to disregard a rule
foreword an introduction to a book forward onwards, ahead
grisly gruesome, revolting grizzly a type of bear
hoard to amass or stockpile horde a large crowd of people
imply to suggest indirectly infer to draw a conclusion
loose to unfasten; to set free; not tight lose to be unable to find
pedal a foot-operated lever peddle to sell goods
pole a long, slender piece of wood poll voting in an election
pour to flow or cause to flow pore a tiny opening; to study something closely
principal most important;
the head of a school
principle a fundamental rule or belief
sceptic a person inclined to doubt septic infected with bacteria
sight the ability to see site a location
stationary not moving stationery writing materials
storey a level of a building story a tale or account

Permanent link to this article: http://englishyourway.com.br/commonly-confused-words-a-comprehensive-list/

Jan 13


Both AWAIT and WAIT mean almost the same thing – they convey the idea that something is expected. But they are used differently, so be careful.

AWAIT requires an object. For example,
‘I await your answer’.

The object of ‘AWAIT’ is normally inanimate, not a person, and often abstract.

So you wouldn’t say, ‘John was awaiting me’.

WAIT does not require an object, but when there is an object we use the preposition ‘for’ to link to the object.

For example,
‘John was waiting for me.’
‘The dog waited.’ (no object)

The other difference between the two verbs is the level of formality.
AWAIT is more formal than WAIT – it would be used in formal letters, for example.

Permanent link to this article: http://englishyourway.com.br/confusing-words-await-vs-wait/

Jul 29

EXERCISES & TESTS: Placement Test

keep calm and placement test1. What __________ right now? Are you busy?
a. do you do
b. you can do
c. did you do
d. are you doing

2. __________ bread do we have at home?
a. Is there any
b. How much
c. How many
d. Are there any

3. Marie has two brothers. __________ names are Mark and John.
a. Their
b. Your
c. His
d. Her

4. How often __________ go to the beach?
a. are you
b. would you like
c. do you like
d. do you

5. What time __________ dinner?
a. did Derek have
b. Derek had
c. does Derek had
d. is Derek have

6. A: Where are you off to? B: __________.
a. I think I’ll start with the shrimp
b. I’m sorry; I’m not from around here
c. I’m on my way to the gym
d. I’ll take the blazer

7. A: Could you please close the window?B: __________.
a. Not at all
b. No, I don’t
c. No problem
d. Not much

8. John and Carl are brothers. John’s wife is Carl’s __________.
a. niece
b. sister-in-law
c. cousin
d. aunt

9. Rose has _________ seen that movie.
a. yet
b. ever
c. already
d. before

10. Anthony _________ in London _________ 2001.
a. has lived / since
b. lived / for
c. has lived / for
d. lives / since

11. You _______ make a reservation soon. That restaurant is very popular.
a. would rather
b. used to
c. ought
d. had better

12. Luckily, I __________ a seat belt when I had the accident.
a. wore
b. was wearing
c. have worn
d. had better wear

13. A: You look a little blue. Something wrong? B: __________.
a. I don’t care for it
b. Nothing. It’s on me
c. Nothing I can put my finger on
d. It doesn’t matter to me

14. I __________ meat, but now I’m a vegetarian.
a. am used to eat
b. am used to eating
c. was used to eat
d. used to eat

15. We can go to a movie instead of __________ TV.
a. watch
b. watched
c. to watch
d. watching

16. That photograph __________ by Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1954.
a. took
b. was taking
c. has taken
d. was taken

17. Is this car _________ ?
a. their
b. they’re
c. theirs
d. there´s

18. A: How many siblings do you have? B: __________.
a. Two uncles and an aunt
b. A son
c. Just a brother
d. My stepfather

19. I’m always on time, ________ I ?
a. are
b. don´t
c. aren´t
d. won´t

20. I _____________ the movie when it __________ out on DVD.
a. already saw / came
b. have seen / came
c. will see / will come
d. had already seen / came

21. My wife needs to have this dress __________ by Saturday.
a. to dry-clean
b. dry-clean
c. dry-cleaned
d. dry-cleaning

22. Charles __________ be a doctor, but he changed his mind.
a. would
b. was going to
c. might
d. could have

23. Joe __________ married Amy. They would have been very happy.
a. must have
b. may have
c. might
d. should have

24. Ramadan is a religious tradition ______ by Muslims all over the world.
a. who is observed
b. is observed
c. to observe
d. that is observed

25. A(n) ________ happens when there is no rain for a long period of time.
a. flood
b. landslide
c. drought
d. epidemic

26. I wonder __________ .
a. how the book ends
b. how does the book end
c. how ends the book
d. the book ends

27. We __________ lost if we had called in advance.
a. wouldn´t get
b. hadn´t gotten
c. didn´t get
d. wouldn´t have gotten

28. Our friends encouraged __________ early.
a. to arrive
b. we arrive
c. us to arrive
d. us arriving

29. __________ hard to find in the newspaper these days.
a. Good news is
b. A good news is
c. Good news are
d. The good news are

30. A: __________B: No, I’m just browsing.
a. Looking for anything special?
b. Is anything bothering you today?
c. Do you mind if I borrow it when you’re done?
d. Are you reading anything good these days?

31. Sometimes when I’m on the go, I forget _________ time for my family.
a. making
b. to make
c. to have made
d. make

32. The older people are when they marry, _________ children they have.
a. fewer
b. fewest
c. the fewer
d. the fewest

33. I requested that he __________ early.
a. arrive
b. arrived
c. arrives
d. would arrive

34. A: I’m at my wits’ end! B: __________
a. What’s stopping you?
b. Are you sure?
c. Do you think so?
d. What’s the matter?

35. He doesn’t have enough experience.____, he would have gotten the job.
a. Otherwise
b. However
c. Therefore
d. Although

36. I’m going for a walk. I need to __________.
a. lose my temper
b. say what’s on my mind
c. let off steam
d. make an issue out of it

37. Not only_________ finish the report, but he didn’t come to work today either.
a. he didn’t
b. did he not
c. did he
d. he did not

38. __________ so busy, we could have shopped around.
a. If we wouldn’t have been
b. That we hadn’t been
c. Had we not been
d. If we might not have been

39. A: _____ B: Actually, it kind of bothers me. I hope that’s not a problem.
a. Do you mind my smoking?
b. Would you ever consider getting a pet?
c. Can you believe that outfit?
d. Are you familiar with this CD?

40. By this time next year, my father __________.
a. will retire
b. had retired
c. is retiring
d. will have retired

Permanent link to this article: http://englishyourway.com.br/exercises-tests-placement-test/

Jul 21

VOCABULARY: The 300 Most Commonly Used English Words

most-common-wordsThe 300 Most Commonly Used English Words


According to studies, the first 25 most commonly used words make up about 30% of all printed material in English. The first 100 make up about 50% of all written material, and the first 300 make up about 65% of all written material in English. Here’s a list of the 300 most commonly used words in English.



1 – 100


  1. the
  2. of
  3. and
  4. a
  5. to
  6. in
  7. is
  8. you
  9. that
  10. it
  11. he
  12. was
  13. for
  14. on
  15. are
  16. as
  17. with
  18. his
  19. they
  20. I
  1. at
  2. be
  3. this
  4. have
  5. from
  6. or
  7. one
  8. had
  9. by
  10. word
  11. but
  12. not
  13. what
  14. all
  15. were
  16. we
  17. when
  18. your
  19. can
  20. said
  1. there
  2. use
  3. an
  4. each
  5. which
  6. she
  7. do
  8. how
  9. their
  10. if
  11. will
  12. up
  13. other
  14. about
  15. out
  16. many
  17. then
  18. them
  19. these
  20. so
  1. some
  2. her
  3. would
  4. make
  5. like
  6. him
  7. into
  8. time
  9. has
  10. look
  11. two
  12. more
  13. write
  14. go
  15. see
  16. number
  17. no
  18. way
  19. could
  20. people
  1. my
  2. than
  3. first
  4. water
  5. been
  6. call
  7. who
  8. oil
  9. its
  10. now
  11. find
  12. long
  13. down
  14. day
  15. did
  16. get
  17. come
  18. made
  19. may
  20. part

101 – 200


  1. over
  2. new
  3. sound
  4. take
  5. only
  6. little
  7. work
  8. know
  9. place
  10. year
  11. live
  12. me
  13. back
  14. give
  15. most
  16. very
  17. after
  18. thing
  19. our
  20. just
  1. name
  2. good
  3. sentence
  4. man
  5. think
  6. say
  7. great
  8. where
  9. help
  10. through
  11. much
  12. before
  13. line
  14. right
  15. too
  16. mean
  17. old
  18. any
  19. same
  20. tell
  1. boy
  2. follow
  3. came
  4. want
  5. show
  6. also
  7. around
  8. form
  9. three
  10. small
  11. set
  12. put
  13. end
  14. does
  15. another
  16. well
  17. large
  18. must
  19. big
  20. even
  1. such
  2. because
  3. turn
  4. here
  5. why
  6. ask
  7. went
  8. men
  9. read
  10. need
  11. land
  12. different
  13. home
  14. us
  15. move
  16. try
  17. kind
  18. hand
  19. picture
  20. again
  1. change
  2. off
  3. play
  4. spell
  5. air
  6. away
  7. animal
  8. house
  9. point
  10. page
  11. letter
  12. mother
  13. answer
  14. found
  15. study
  16. still
  17. learn
  18. should
  19. America
  20. world

201 – 300


  1. high
  2. every
  3. near
  4. add
  5. food
  6. between
  7. own
  8. below
  9. country
  10. plant
  11. last
  12. school
  13. father
  14. keep
  15. tree
  16. never
  17. start
  18. city
  19. earth
  20. eye
  1. light
  2. thought
  3. head
  4. under
  5. story
  6. saw
  7. left
  8. don’t
  9. few
  10. while
  11. along
  12. might
  13. close
  14. something
  15. seem
  16. next
  17. hard
  18. open
  19. example
  20. begin
  1. life
  2. always
  3. those
  4. both
  5. paper
  6. together
  7. got
  8. group
  9. often
  10. run
  11. important
  12. until
  13. children
  14. side
  15. feet
  16. car
  17. mile
  18. night
  19. walk
  20. white
  1. sea
  2. began
  3. grow
  4. took
  5. river
  6. four
  7. carry
  8. state
  9. once
  10. book
  11. hear
  12. stop
  13. without
  14. second
  15. later
  16. miss
  17. idea
  18. enough
  19. eat
  20. face
  1. watch
  2. far
  3. Indian
  4. really
  5. almost
  6. let
  7. above
  8. girl
  9. sometimes
  10. mountain
  11. cut
  12. young
  13. talk
  14. soon
  15. list
  16. song
  17. being
  18. leave
  19. family
  20. it’s



Permanent link to this article: http://englishyourway.com.br/vocabulary-the-300-most-commonly-used-english-words/

Jul 18

VIDEO: Miami City Guide (video w/ transcript)

Miami City Guide

Miami is a sub-tropical city located in the Sunshine State, Florida, in between the Everglades and the North Atlantic Ocean. Flying in over Biscayne Bay, you can spot the wonderful beaches that attract nearly 14 million visitors each year. Welcome to Florida’s cultural center and the diverse mix that represents Miami. The palm tree lined city is known for its stunning beaches, Art Deco district, Latin culture, and 24-hour lifestyle. It is the place to see and be seen. Even the zoo residents put on a show. This is as good as it gets if you are planning a holiday in the sun. The weather is warm year round and the city has many parks and some of the best beaches in the country.

Miami is a cultural melting pot that attracts people from the colder north. Its mainly Hispanic residents and influx of South American visitors add Latin rhythm and Cuban cuisine to the mix. Away from the oceanfront, there is also and artistic, cultural side to this magic city. Find theaters on the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables and modern art galleries downtown. Take in the moving sight of the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach or watch the muralists at work in the Wynwood Arts District in the city’s north.

South of the city center stands a century-old landmark, the Vizcaya Museum. Step back in time in this opulent mansion with atrium and gardens and enjoy idyllic views of the bay. Across from here is the Seaquarium where marine mammals will amaze you with their clever tricks. This is where Flipper lived – the smart dolphin from the TV show.

miamiOn the other side of the bay are the Barrier Islands that offer everything the Miami is famous for – white sand, palm trees, great tans, and VIP lifestyle is what it’s all about here. The star attraction is Miami Beach. Its bustling promenade, dream cars, sun-adoring beach lovers, and colorful lifeguard towers have Miami written all over it. Touring on a sight-seeing bus is a fun way to see the cultural and architectural hotspots on the island. Find hundreds of historic buildings in the pre-World War II Art Deco district in South Beach, which you can call ‘SoBe’ once you’re in the know. Take some time to stop at Lincoln Road Mall to browse the shops and markets.

On your way back to the mainland, visit Jungle Island where inquisitive wildcats and Florida’s iconic Pink Flamingos are curious to meet you. Closer to the Everglades is another lush zoo, but this one is mainly for primates. Monkey Jungle’s residents love hauling up the food you leave them and even collect treats from your outstretched hands. If you’re lucky you may receive some hugs as a reward. Also near the Everglades is Zoo Miami. It has cageless habitats with only a moat between you and the local species and more exotic animals. If you feel active, paddle over the bay around Key Biscayne or bike along Crandon Boulevard. And between activities you can lounge on the beach.

Miami is one of those dream destinations that appeals to everyone. Its beach and party culture attracts singles while couples will find romance in the al fresco restaurants and on the boulevards. And thanks to many fun attractions, Miami also gets the thumbs up from families with children. If you’re in search of a good time in the Sunshine State, come to Miami to explore its long stretches of beaches, family-friendly zoos, and famous Art Deco District anytime you like.


opulent…………………………………………………………………….. wealthy; lavish; luxurious; rich

idyllic………………………………………………………………….. peaceful; calm; tranquil; pleasant

bustling……………………………………………………………………………………… busy; active; lively

in the know……………………………………………………. informed; aware, enlightened; with it

lush……………………………………………………………………………….. abundant; fertile; thriving;

habitats…………………………………………………. natural home or environment of an animal

moat………………………………………………………………………………… ditch; trench; dike; fosse

Permanent link to this article: http://englishyourway.com.br/video-miami-city-guide-video-w-transcript/

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