Confused Words Exercise (640)
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. Inviting a boor like him to dinner is certain to offend the other guests.
boor: rude person. "The professor was popular in his classes but a terrible boor at social events."
bore: dull person. "I couldn’t wait to excuse myself from a tedious (and one-sided) conversation with the insufferable bore."
2. They waited, and after a few seconds there was the distinct sound of movement above them.
distinct: definite, easy to sense, noticeably different. "However, these specimens are so brightly colored that they have been deemed to form a distinct species."
distinctive: easily distinguished, notable for an unusual quality: "The relatively small size of the ear is one of the most distinctive characteristics."
3. He’s been responsible for a large number of mistakes.
amount: quantity; used with mass nouns. "The annual amount of rainfall has declined precipitously."
number: sum; used with count nouns. "The number of choices available added to the confusion."
4. The emotional side of him wanted to wring the man’s neck.
ring: encircle. "As the horsemen closed in, they formed a circle to ring the small band of travelers."
wring: squeeze and twist. "The little princess began to cry capriciously like a suffering child and to wring her little hands."
5. The climbers had nearly reached the goal of their ascent.
ascendance: an act of moving up or rising; usually figurative. "The beginning of his ascendance is marked by an unprecedented outward expansion of the empire’s power."
ascent: upward climb or slope, or progress; figurative or literal. "The temperature was in the high teens, but as the sun began its ascent, it felt far warmer."