Confused Words Exercise (566)
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.)
Answers and Explanations
1. She’s the kind of person who likes to inflict herself on others.
afflict: cause pain or suffering. "The bully consciously chose to afflict his victim with physical and emotional harm."
inflict: impose something negative, such as damage or pressure. "There are better ways to modify behavior than to inflict pain."
2. He was ambivalent about his support for the candidate.
ambiguous: having more than one possible meaning. "The statement was ambiguous, leaving her as confused as before about his opinion."
ambivalent: having contradictory attitude or feelings, or uncertainty. "I feel ambivalent about allowing her to go alone."
3. They decided to waive the fee.
waive: cancel or remove a requirement. "Because of the delay, the agency will waive the surcharge."
wave: make a greeting or signaling gesture. "She was about to wave to get his attention, but he turned away before she had a chance."
4. She argued that the explanation was too simplistic to be believable.
simple: easy. "I had a simple plan for persuading him to agree."
simplistic: overly basic. "This simplistic approach ignores many additional factors."
5. If you want to effect change, you have to make the change seem manageable.
affect: have an impact on. "I don’t know how the error will affect the test results."
effect: bring about. "To effect a revolution, first understand what it is that oppresses the people."