Confused Words Exercise (298)

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.)

  • Every English teacher in this school district is provided with a teacher’s _____.

  • The special paint gives the ______ of invisibility.

  • Because of the corporation’s restrictive hiring policies, Gwendolyn was _______ about accepting the position of Personnel Manager.

  • Downton Abbey is a fictional _____ belonging to the equally fictitious Earl of Grantham.

  • The governor sought to ______ the suffering of the poor in his province.

Answers and Explanations

1. Every English teacher in this school district is provided with a teacher’s aide.

aid: assistance given
aide: a person who gives assistance

2. The special paint gives the illusion of invisibility.

allusion: a reference to something. For example, "Her comment about "too many notes" was an allusion to a line in the movie Amadeus."
illusion: something deceptive or non-existent. For example, "The idea that public schools can educate all children to the same level is an illusion."

3. Because of the corporation’s restrictive hiring policies, Gwendolyn was ambivalent about accepting the position of Personnel Manager.

Both words mean "uncertain," but things are ambiguous, while people are ambivalent.

4. Downton Abbey is a fictional manor belonging to the equally fictitious Earl of Grantham.

manor: the principal residence on an estate.
manner: a way of doing something.

5. The governor sought to mitigate the suffering of the poor in his province.

militate: to exert influence for or against something. For example, "The way he always insists that he is right militates against his chances to be elected club president."
mitigate: to make easier, to lessen.

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