Confused Words Exercise (236)

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.)

  • The new resident refused to _______ the Friday bingo games.

  • Please, just let me have one _____ at the reference letter before you seal the envelope.

  • The monument was meant to _______ the memory of the Normandy landing.

  • Jimmy Stewart often portrayed a normally _______ man drawn into a violent situation against his will.

  • Roxie Larue loves jewelry; there’s usually some garish bangle ______ round her neck.

Answers and Explanations

1. The new resident refused to partake in the Friday bingo games.

"To partake in" means to participate in; "to partake of" means to take a part of something. For example, one partakes of a meal. "Partake of" can also mean "to possess a quality of something," as in "You say you deleted her files accidentally, but the act seems to me to partake of malice."

2. Please, just let me have one peek at the reference letter before you seal the envelope.

A peak is the top of something, an apex. The word is used literally and figuratively: We climbed to the peak of the mountain. She was at the peak of her career when the tragedy befell.

3. The monument was meant to perpetuate the memory of the Normandy landing.

Perpetuate means to sustain something, to keep it going. Perpetrate means to do something bad; one perpetrates a crime.

4. Jimmy Stewart often portrayed a normally peaceable man drawn into a violent situation against his will.

A peaceable person or government is one that avoids conflict. A peaceful person or thing is unruffled, tranquil, or calm. A setting can be peaceful.

5. Roxie Larue loves jewelry; there’s usually some garish bangle pendent round her neck.

Both words have something to do with hanging. A pendant (noun) is something that hangs. Pendent (adjective) describes something that is hanging. A bangle is a jewel or an ornament.

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