Confused Words Exercise (698)

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.)

  • The school lockdown was going into its fourth hour, with the students becoming more ________ and anxious by the minute.

  • There was another boom, another flash of light outside the window, another ________ as the building struggled to stand upright.

  • She grew up in a modest _______ home in a bland Los Angeles suburb.

  • The native chieftains will ________ to weaken the colonial government.

  • He landed himself a really ________ job.

Answers and Explanations

1. The school lockdown was going into its fourth hour, with the students becoming more restive and anxious by the minute.

restive: bored or impatient while waiting. "After just a week of summer vacation, the kids were bored and restive, demanding new things to do."
restless: moving around while bored or nervous. "She flung herself onto the bed again, restless and scared."

2. There was another boom, another flash of light outside the window, another shudder as the building struggled to stand upright.

shudder: a shaking caused by fear or a violent force. "An involuntary shudder ran down his spine."
shutter: a cover that protects something or keeps light out. "The size of the aperture can be varied by means of a flexible wooden shutter."

3. She grew up in a modest tract home in a bland Los Angeles suburb.

track: a mark on the ground, a path or trail, or a pair of metal bars a vehicle rides on. "The track was long and ran straight to the edge of the roadway."
tract: an area of land, a bundle of nerves or a group of body parts, or a period of time. "This tract is rugged and scored by ravines, and is very sparsely inhabited."

4. The native chieftains will conspire to weaken the colonial government.

connive: secretly help someone do something wrong or not wanted. "If we continue to connive in the support of tyranny, we will continue to suffer the consequence of terrorism."
conspire: plan with someone to do something wrong or not wanted. "The three officials would later conspire to overthrow the government, but for now they were content to be part of it."

5. He landed himself a really plum job.

plum: superior or desirable. "She was awarded for her efforts with a plum assignment."
plumb: complete, thorough, or true or vertical. "The wall was not plumb, so he had to measure very carefully."

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