Confused Words Exercise (512)

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.)

  • He’s the kind of person who likes to _______ in other people’s affairs.

  • Their effort to clean up the creek is _________.

  • I shouldn’t have been surprised that the unwieldy boat would ________ so easily.

  • The committee debated the merits of the proposed ________ policy.

  • She said that my orange scarf would _________ my turquoise gown.

Answers and Explanations

1. He’s the kind of person who likes to meddle in other people’s affairs.

medal: a commemorative object resembling a large coin (n.); earn a medal (v.). "She hopes to medal in at least one event at the meet."
meddle: interfere. "Their decision to meddle in the project doomed it from the start."

2. Their effort to clean up the creek is laudable.

laudable: commendable. "My laudable but misguided attempt to negotiate a peace between them ended in disaster."
laudatory: congratulatory. "Mary, selected as Volunteer of the Year, was the subject of a laudatory speech by the executive director."

3. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the unwieldy boat would founder so easily.

flounder: struggle. "She’s concerned that she’s going to flounder in the difficult role."
founder: sink, or fail. "The ill-conceived company was doomed to founder."

4. The committee debated the merits of the proposed economic policy.

economic: relating to finance and goods and services. "Economic growth this year was slower than expected."
economical: careful with money. "He was economical even after he got a high-paying job."

5. She said that my orange scarf would complement my turquoise gown.

complement: complete or improve. "The commentary track is intended to complement the silent video."
compliment: offer an admiring or respectful remark. "They complimented her on her well-deserved award."

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