Confused Words Exercise (52)

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.)

  • Cut off from their supply chain, they suffered __________.

  • I’d teach even if they didn’t pay me; it’s the ideal __________ for me.

  • She wanted to __________ that the boat was safe.

  • The novel is a __________ adventure about a precocious, puckish youth navigating the business world.

  • It’s intended to appeal to ___________ clients.

Answers and Explanations

1. Cut off from their supply chain, they suffered deprivation.

Depravation means "corruption"; deprivation means "loss."

2. I’d teach even if they didn’t pay me; it’s the ideal vocation for me.

A vocation is a career or job category; an avocation is a hobby or interest.

3. She wanted to ensure that the boat was safe.

To ensure is to guarantee; to insure is to indemnify against loss.

4. The novel is a picaresque adventure about a precocious, puckish youth navigating the business world.

Picaresque means "episodic" (with an implication of a roguish protagonist); picturesque means "visually appealing."

5. It’s intended to appeal to prospective clients.

Prospective means "potential"; perspective means "viewpoint."

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