Confused Words Exercise (291)

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.)

  • Patrick Dennis wrote about his ____ Aunt Marion and called the book Auntie Mame.

  • Small children love to pound out noisy ____ on the piano.

  • The CEO says that the new fence will _____ the administration building and the labs.

  • Father plans to fasten the swing to strongest ____ of the oak tree.

  • I can never remember how alternating _____ differs from direct.

Answers and Explanations

1. Patrick Dennis wrote about his barmy Aunt Marion and called the book Auntie Mame.

balmy: pleasantly warm.
barmy: foolish, crazy, flighty, eccentric.

2. Small children love to pound out noisy chords on the piano.

cord: a length of string.
chord: a group of musical notes.

3. The CEO says that the new fence will envelop the administration building and the labs.

envelop (verb): to cover or surround.
envelope (noun): a paper container for a letter.

4. Father plans to fasten the swing to strongest bough of the oak tree.

bow (rhymes with cow): as a verb, to bend the head; as a noun, the front of a ship.
bough (also rhymes with cow): the branch of a tree.

5. I can never remember how alternating current differs from direct.

currant: a dried grape.
current: a flow of water, air, or electricity. As an adjective, current means, "happening now."

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