Confused Words Exercise (774)

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.)

  • Don’t ______ to the crowd; do what you think is right.

  • He was ________ about his support for the candidate.

  • I can’t help but _____ from the evidence that you are an accomplice.

  • The components of the project will be completed in __________ stages; phase 1 will begin in July, and phase two will follow in September.

  • We were assigned to estimate and then measure the ________ of the building.

Answers and Explanations

1. Don’t pander to the crowd; do what you think is right.

pamper: coddle, spoil. "I’ve never been one to pamper children, and I won’t start now."
pander: provide what is wanted when what is wanted is not the best choice. "As usual, the candidates will pander to short-term interests instead of carrying out a vision for the future."

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. I can’t help but infer from the evidence that you are an accomplice.

imply: suggest without stating explicitly. "I wasn’t trying to imply that I agree with her."
infer: form an opinion or reach a conclusion, or hint. "Am I to infer that you are responsible for this controversy?"

4. The components of the project will be completed in consecutive stages; phase 1 will begin in July, and phase two will follow in September.

concurrent: occurring at the same time. "He had to choose between the two concurrent classes."
consecutive: occurring sequentially. "She won medals in consecutive championships from 2010 to 2012."

5. We were assigned to estimate and then measure the perimeter of the building.

parameter: controlling rule or limit. "Each member of the team was assigned to propose one parameter for the project."
perimeter: outside edge. "The sentries patrolled the perimeter of the encampment."

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