Confused Words Exercise (602)

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.)

  • John watched Mary ________ at the thought that all her careful planning would go to waste.

  • I decided to _____ closely to custom, at least at first.

  • The students resented being given a last-minute __________.

  • They were very __________ about being welcomed to the neighborhood.

  • The plan is to ________ the stream around the plot of land.

Answers and Explanations

1. John watched Mary bristle at the thought that all her careful planning would go to waste.

bridle: control or restrain. "She struggled to bridle her emotions."
bristle: show anger or defensiveness. "I bristled at the suggestion that jealousy was my motive."

2. I decided to hew closely to custom, at least at first.

hew: make or shape as with an ax; to stay near. "Their statements all hewed to the official account of the incident."
hue: a quality of color. "The couple favored the same color but disagreed about the hue."

3. The students resented being given a last-minute assignment.

assignation: a meeting, usually a rendezvous between lovers. "I overheard him scheduling an assignation with his mistress."
assignment: a position or task given. "Her assignment was to find out what had happened to the missing package."

4. They were very appreciative about being welcomed to the neighborhood.

appreciable: enough to be measured or noticed. "The difference in the results was appreciable but not significant."
appreciative: aware of or grateful about. "Mary went out to take another bow in front of the appreciative audience."

5. The plan is to divert the stream around the plot of land.

deviate: be or do something different than expected. "She chooses to deviate from acceptable behavior just to get attention."
divert: change the direction or use of, or take attention from, something. "John was trying divert her gaze, but she couldn’t take her eyes away."

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