Vocabulary Quiz #7: Commonly Confused Words

By Mark Nichol

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.)

1. They didn’t realize that they were in __________ danger.
a) imminent
b) eminent

2. He __________ an example to illustrate his point.
a) cited
b) sited

3. Albany is the __________ of New York.
a) capitol
b) capital

4. Her __________ manner was appealing at first, but her eagerness to help soon became annoying.
a) complaisant
b) complacent

5. I am __________ to delegate that responsibility to him.
a) loath
b) loathe

Answers and Explanations

1. They didn’t realize that they were in imminent danger.
a) imminent
Eminent means “well known and respected”; imminent means “happening very soon.”

2. He cited an example to illustrate his point.
a) cited
To site is to locate or situate; to cite is to give an example or source.

3. Albany is the capital of New York.
b) capital
A capitol is a building or building complex in which legislators meet (the term is often capitalized to specify a particular building); a capital is a seat of government.

4. Her complaisant manner was appealing at first, but her eagerness to help soon became annoying.
a) complaisant
Complaisant means “willing to please”; complacent means “self-satisfied, smug.”

5. I am loath to delegate that responsibility to him.
a) loath
To loathe is to hate; loath means “reluctant” or “unwilling.”

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4 Responses to “Vocabulary Quiz #7: Commonly Confused Words”

  • venqax

    What is a “worthwhile” redundancy? Round circle– so as not be confused with square ones? Capitol building means “legislature’s building building.”

    What is immanuel? Is that a word for something? Emmanuel and Immanuel are simply variant spellings of the same name, not “confused words”. I don’t know what your point is.

  • Dale A. Wood

    The capitol building is a worthwhile (worthy) redundancy, as is Capitol Building. Venqax, you need to simmer down, settle down, and chill out about worthwhile redundancies.
    Likewise for “The Capitol is in the capital city.”
    Likewise for “The Capitol of Guatemala is in Guatemala, Guatemala, Guatemala.” (city, province, country).
    Did you know that the Empire State Building in in New York, New York, New York? (county, city, state)

  • Dale A. Wood

    Emmanuel and Immanuel and immanuel .

  • venqax

    Yes, a capitol IS a building. So calling something “the capitol building” is improperly redundant, repetitive, and etc. A personal pet peeve.

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