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.)

  • She’s the kind of person who likes to _______ herself on others.

  • He was __________ about his support for the candidate.

  • They decided to ______ the fee.

  • She argued that the explanation was too _______ to be believable.

  • If you want to _______ change, you have to make the change seem manageable.

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."

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