Confused Words Exercise (123)

In each sentence, choose the correct word from the pair of similar terms. (If both words possibly can be correct, choose the more plausible one.)

  • Sallie’s parents criticized her constantly as a child; as a result, she has difficulty accepting a ______ .

  • Many citizens feel that the government is not sufficiently concerned with the effects of _______ change.

  • The band director has finally succeeded in getting the beginners to play ______ on this piece.

  • Her love of make-up and jewelry sometimes results in an extremely _______ appearance.

  • My brother’s gun collection includes an antique _______ loader.

Answers and Explanations

1. Sallie’s parents criticized her constantly as a child; as a result, she has difficulty accepting a compliment .

A compliment is an expression of approval or praise. To complement is to improve or to add something that improves. Example: That green scarf will complement the color of your eyes.

2. Many citizens feel that the government is not sufficiently concerned with the effects of climatic change.

The adjective climatic refers to climate; climactic refers to forming a climax.

3. The band director has finally succeeded in getting the beginners to play all together on this piece.

The two words all together mean "all at once"; altogether means "on the whole." Example: Altogether, I prefer drama to comedy.

4. Her love of make-up and jewelry sometimes results in an extremely bizarre appearance.

The adjective bizarre means "strange." The noun bazaar refers to a Middle Eastern market.

5. My brother’s gun collection includes an antique breech loader.

The noun breech refers to the back part of a gun barrel. The verb to breach means to break through something: The artillery breached the castle wall. Breach can also be a noun meaning a break or a gap: Soldiers poured through the breach in the wall.

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