Confused Words Exercise (465)

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.)

  • She’s been a real _______ through this entire ordeal.

  • Congressional members on both sides of the ____ criticized the proposal.

  • We’ve ______ in on the best panoramic views to create this list of our favorite local hikes.

  • A _____ of schoolchildren descended on the plaza.

  • It wasn’t until he read the headlines the next day that he realized he had made a serious _____.

Answers and Explanations

1. She’s been a real trouper through this entire ordeal.

trooper: soldier or law enforcement officer. "The trooper rode up to his commanding officer to make his report."
trouper: a member of a troupe, or a company of performers, or someone resilient and persistent in the face of adversity. "The life of a trouper, what with frequent performances and constant travel, is not an easy one."

2. Congressional members on both sides of the aisle criticized the proposal.

aisle: a lane for walking between seats or among shelves or store products. "The boy ran from one end of the store to the other, looking down each aisle in search of his mother."
isle: an island, especially a small one. "If you were stranded on a desert isle and could have only one book, which one would it be?"

3. We’ve homed in on the best panoramic views to create this list of our favorite local hikes.

homed: directed attention to, or proceeded or returned. "The missiles homed in on the target."
honed: sharpened or made more effective. "She honed her piano-playing skills with frequent practice."

4. A horde of schoolchildren descended on the plaza.

hoard: a hidden collection of valuables. "We discovered a hoard of vintage jewelry in the attic."
horde: a crowd. "The horde of warriors swept over the plains, destroying all settlements in their path."

5. It wasn’t until he read the headlines the next day that he realized he had made a serious gaffe.

gaff: a hook, spear, or sailing spar. "She speared the fish with her gaff."
gaffe: a blunder or mistake. "She greeted me by the wrong name again, even after I had corrected her before, but this time I ignored her gaffe."

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