Confused Words Exercise (3)

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.)

  • During the late Roman Empire, many Christians chose to lead _____ lives in the desert.

  • We’ve become really good friends because our opinions about everything, from television to food, seem to ___.

  • They didn’t realize it at the time, but Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge proved to be a _____ event for humankind.

  • The way that child is permitted to talk back to his parents and torment his little sister now will turn him into an ______ adult.

  • All of the children were impressed by the ______ of the Grand Canyon.

Answers and Explanations

1. During the late Roman Empire, many Christians chose to lead ascetic lives in the desert.

ascetic (adjective): refraining from self-indulgence.
aesthetic (adjective): relating to beauty.

2. We’ve become really good friends because our opinions about everything, from television to food, seem to jibe.

jibe (verb): to be in agreement.
gibe (verb): to taunt, jeer, make fun of.
Both words are pronounced the same, with a /j/ sound and a long i.

3. They didn’t realize it at the time, but Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge proved to be a historic event for humankind.

historic (adjective): of great significance.
historical (adjective): occurring in the (usually distant) past.

4. The way that child is permitted to talk back to his parents and torment his little sister now will turn him into an intolerable adult.

intolerable (adjective): unbearable.
intolerant (adjective): unwilling to accept differences in opinion.

5. All of the children were impressed by the enormousness of the Grand Canyon.

enormity (noun): outrageous evil. Example: The enormity of the crimes of the group calling itself the Islamic State has roused worldwide indignation.
enormousness (noun): great size.

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