Confused Words Exercise (284)

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.)

  • It is hoped that the donation from the Walton Foundation will _____ the work of the Literacy Council for at least three more decades.

  • No one was surprised when Reginald was expelled because he had a reputation for _____ the rules.

  • The landscape designer suggested a border of day lilies to ____ the koi pond.

  • The boy who wears his pants like a gangster experienced a dreadful fall when one of the baggy legs caught in a ____ of his bicycle.

  • In times of scarcity, there is always the danger that certain types of people will ____ items needed by others.

Answers and Explanations

1. It is hoped that the donation from the Walton Foundation will perpetuate the work of the Literacy Council for at least three more decades.

perpetuate: to cause to continue
perpetrate: to carry out or perform. The word is often used in a negative sense with the meaning, "to commit a crime."

2. No one was surprised when Reginald was expelled because he had a reputation for flouting the rules.

flaunt: to display ostentatiously
flout: to disregard

3. The landscape designer suggested a border of day lilies to wreathe the koi pond.

wreath (noun): a ring-shaped arrangement of flowers or branches
wreathe (verb): to surround or encircle

4. The boy who wears his pants like a gangster experienced a dreadful fall when one of the baggy legs caught in a pedal of his bicycle.

pedal (noun): a foot-operated lever
peddle (verb): to sell goods

5. In times of scarcity, there is always the danger that certain types of people will hoard items needed by others.

horde (noun): a large crowd of people
hoard (verb): to store away. The sense is usually negative, with the suggestion that the person hoarding is keeping more than his fair share.

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