Confused Words Exercise (704)

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.)

  • Its publication placed him in the first rank of __________ poets.

  • More than a billion women around the world want to _________ western women’s lifestyles.

  • Her words did nothing to ________ the anger boiling within him.

  • These laws provide _________ in the event that one citizen infringes on the rights of another.

  • She was _________ to broach the subject.

Answers and Explanations

1. Its publication placed him in the first rank of contemporary poets.

contemporary: refers to people from the same time period. "Contemporary writers judged him harshly because the kingdom was lost during his reign."
contemporaneous: refers to things from the same time period. "Contemporaneous volcanic rocks are associated with the Ordovician beds and with the Rhaetic sandstones in several places."

2. More than a billion women around the world want to emulate western women’s lifestyles.

emulate: try to be like someone or something admired. "He grew up resolved to emulate the medieval knights who had reconquered Portugal from the Moors."
imitate: copy, or make or do something the same as something else. "The mockingbird has been heard to imitate the song of the nightingale, the crowing of a cock, and even the cackling of a hen."

3. Her words did nothing to quell the anger boiling within him.

quell: stop by force, or calm or reduce an emotion. "He returned to the city in time to quell a formidable rebellion."
quench: extinguish or eliminate, or satisfy or relieve desire or thirst. "While sales dive globally, Australians can’t seem to quench their thirst for French champagne."

4. These laws provide recourse in the event that one citizen infringes on the rights of another.

recourse: an opportunity or choice to use or do something as a solution. "For the first time in his life, King Charles was now obliged to have recourse to diplomacy."
resource: something useful. "Lack of dependable rainfall has made water an extremely important natural resource throughout the region."

5. She was reluctant to broach the subject.

reluctant: not eager or willing to do something. "She had been reluctant to mention her idea before, but now she was desperate enough to risk his anger."
reticent: reserved or restrained in speech. "He was reserved and very reticent, cold in manner, and not sympathetic."

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises