Confused Words Exercise (374)

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.)

  • If we do it ______, we can pull this cow out of the ditch.

  • Maurice’s eyes are too sensitive for contact lenses, but he’s too ____ to wear glasses; I refuse to ride when he’s driving.

  • She calls herself Lady Gaga now, but ____ everyone called her Stefani.

  • The murderer received his just _____ when was killed by his own gun while cleaning it.

  • You’d better wear these ____ if you want to gain admittance to that exclusive country club.

Answers and Explanations

1. If we do it all together, we can pull this cow out of the ditch.

all together (adverb phrase): in unison, in total, in one gathering. "I want the family to be all together for Christmas."
altogether (adverb): on the whole. "I would like to skip that particular duty altogether."

2. Maurice’s eyes are too sensitive for contact lenses, but he’s too vain to wear glasses; I refuse to ride when he’s driving.

vane (noun): a metal plate or a banner that moves in the wind. "The weather vane is shaped like a rooster."
vain (adjective): of things: empty, idle; of people: conceited, egotistical, overly sensitive to others’ opinions about trivial matters.

3. She calls herself Lady Gaga now, but formerly everyone called her Stefani.

formerly (adverb): in previous times.
formally (adverb): in customary form. "He was formally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame."

4. The murderer received his just deserts when was killed by his own gun while cleaning it.

desert (noun): the quality of meriting or deserving. Usually used in the expression "just deserts" with the meaning "what the person had coming to him."
dessert (noun): the last course of a meal. "We had strawberries for dessert."

5. You’d better wear these clothes if you want to gain admittance to that exclusive country club.

clothes (plural noun): garments. The word is also applied to sheets and other bed coverings.
cloth (noun): a piece of fabric. The plural is cloths. "Please hand me a dust cloth."

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises