Confused Words Exercise (245)

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.)

  • I’m probably the only driver in town who has more _____ violations than moving violations on my record.

  • Every time that young intern opens her mouth, she comes up with an excellent ____ for improving production.

  • If you go into the woods without a compass you could ____ your way.

  • I don’t know how you can ____ over those old books for so many hours at a time.

  • "The Afternoon of a ____," a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, inspired the musical composition by Claude Debussy. The poem contains references to nymphs.

Answers and Explanations

1. I’m probably the only driver in town who has more stationary violations than moving violations on my record.

stationary: (adjective) not moving; standing still.
stationery: (noun) writing paper.

2. Every time that young intern opens her mouth, she comes up with an excellent idea for improving production.

ideal: (noun) a mental image of perfection; can also be used as an adjective: "She thinks George would be the ideal husband."
idea: (noun) a conception of something that doesn’t exist, but can be realized.

3. If you go into the woods without a compass you could lose your way.

lose: (verb) to be lost or missing
loose: (adjective) not attached; not tight.

4. I don’t know how you can pore over those old books for so many hours at a time.

pore: (verb) to examine a book or papers with fixed attention.
pour: (verb) to allow liquid to flow out of a receptacle.

5. "The Afternoon of a faun," a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, inspired the musical composition by Claude Debussy. The poem contains references to nymphs.

fawn: (noun) a baby deer.
faun: (noun) a mythical Greek rural deity resembling a satyr (i.e. a creature part man and part goat).

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