In English language, we come across many words that contains different meanings as per its position (parts of speech) in the sentence. For example, if we take ‘Bear’ as an example, Bear (noun) is the name of an animal and Bear (verb) means to tolerate. In order to differentiate the usage of these words, we need to improve our vocabulary by watching English programs, listening sports commentary, communicating others in English language etc. Also, there are some words in similar to pronounce, but their meanings are different. Candidates preparing for the competitive exams often confuse in understanding these words. In the present scenario, a significant number of questions are being asked in many competitive examinations from the vocabulary topic to test the knowledge of the candidates. Practicing these types of words regularly will improve our vocabulary significantly. In this edition, we discuss with some confused words and some words with different meanings, that are useful in building vocabulary.
1. Accept, Except, Expect, Aspect
Accept means to agree
e.g.: You must accept that you made a mistake.
Except means not include
e.g.: Everyone is going to Tirumala, except me.
Expect means likely to happen
e.g.: I am expecting a smile from you.
Aspect means a particular feature
e.g.: You should look at the problem from every aspect.
2. Access, Axis, Excess
Access means opportunity to use or approach something
e.g.: We have free access to use internet in our college campus.
Axis means an imaginary line about which a body rotates.
e.g.: The Earth is rotating in an axis around the Sun.
Excess means surplus or overabundance
e.g.: Due to excess water in the water tanker, the water is spilling on the road.
3. Adopt, Adapt, Adept
Adopt means choose to take up, follow, or use.
e.g.: I have adopted to use water bottle instead of glass for drinking water.
Adapt means make (something) suitable or adjustable for a new use or purpose
e.g.: We adapt to the conditions here, the climate, people and the food.
Adept means very skilled or proficient at something.
e.g.: He is adept at cooking chicken.
4. Alter, Altar, Altair
Alter means a change in something
e.g.: He was asked to change the report
Altar means an altar is a holy table in a church or temple.
e.g.: We offer food for the god on the altar, in front of the deity's statue.
Altair means the brightest star in the constellation Aquila
e.g.: Altair has almost double the Sun's mass, at an estimated 1.79 solar masses.
5. Apposite, Opposite
Apposite means suitable or related to something
e.g.: Showing graveyard in the starting titles depicts an apposite storyline of the movie.
Opposite means against
e.g.: He was sitting almost opposite me.
6. Artist, Artiste, Artisan
Artist means a person skilled at a particular task or occupation.
e.g.: S.S Rajamouli is a wonderful artist.
Artiste means a professional entertainer, especially a singer or dancer.
e.g.: The artiste has delivered a wonderful performance.
Artisan means someone who does skilled work with his hands.
e.g.: The local artisans of Srikalahasthi is famous for making bangles.
7. Advice, Advise
Advice (noun) means guidance offered with regard to future action
e.g.: We should take advice from our elders before doing something.
Advise (verb) means recommend or give suggestions
e.g.: I advised him to take rest.
8. Birth, Berth
Birth means to be born
e.g.: My sister has given birth to a baby boy.
Berth means a sleeping place allotted in a ship or train.
e.g.: I have got a side upper berth in the train.
9. Bear, Bare
Bear (noun) means a large heavy mammal
e.g.: Bear is a very dangerous animal.
Bear (verb) means support, withstand, tolerate
e.g.: No one likes to bear the responsibility of cleaning roads.
Bare means uncovered, without (something)
e.g.: He walked on the road barefoot.
10. Cite, Sight, Site
Cite means refer to (something)
e.g.: Mobile phones have been cited as key examples of modern technologies.
Sight means the power of seeing (something)
e.g.: Joseph lost his sight in his childhood.
Site means an area of ground, plot
e.g.: I have bought a site near my hometown.
11. Coarse, Course
Coarse means rough or harsh
e.g.: My clothes were made of coarse cloth.
Course means a route, direction, procedure
e.g.: The pilot avoided a collision by changing the course of the airplane.
12. Cemetery, Symmetry
Cemetery means a large burial ground
e.g.: The old man was laid in a cemetery.
Symmetry means the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts
e.g.: The overall symmetry of the building looks spectacular to the eye.
13. Collision, Collusion
Collision means an accident happened when two vehicles hit each other with force.
e.g.: Two drivers died in a head on collision between two cars.
Collusion means secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy to deceive others.
e.g.: The armed forces were working in collusion with drug traffickers.
14. Decent, Descent, Dissent
Decent means appropriate, fitting.
e.g.: I have bought a decent car for my family.
Descent means an act of moving downwards, dropping, or falling.
e.g.: Passengers must fasten their seat belts prior to descent.
Dissent means a strong refusal
e.g.: There are many ways of expressing dissent.
15. Deference, Difference
Deference means polite submission and respect.
e.g.: I addressed him with deference due to his age.
Difference means the state or condition of being dissimilar
e.g.: The difference between the two products is negligible.
Exception, Exceptional, Exceptionable
Exception means not included (in something)
e.g.: All students except Suresh got good grades in the exam.
Exceptional means unusual, very rare
e.g.: This magician has exceptional powers.
Exceptionable means open to objection
e.g.: Your lip sync in the online interview is exceptionable.
Eminent means famous and respectable
e.g.: Sachin Tendulkar is an eminent personality.
Imminent means about to happen
e.g.: All countries warned that a terror attack was imminent in Afghanistan.
Eligible, Legible, Illegible
Eligible means fit to be chosen
e.g.: People over 18 years are eligible to cast their vote in India.
Legible means clear enough to read
e.g.: The words in the book are scarcely legible.
Illegible means not clear enough to read
e.g.: That doctor’s handwriting is quite illegible.
Incite means encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behaviour)
e.g.: The extremists conspired to incite riots in the city.
Insight means the capacity of gaining deep understanding of something.
e.g.: The article gives us a real insight into the causes of the present economic crisis.
Envelop means wrap up, cover or surroundcompletely.
e.g.: He never imagined the whirlwind that would envelop him.
Envelope means a flat paper container with a sealable flap
e.g.: I put a letter in the envelope and placed it on the desk.
Assure, Ensure, Insure
Assure means tell someone not to worry of something
e.g.: He's perfectly safe, I can assure you.
Ensure means make certain that (something) will occur
e.g.: I will ensure that the train arrives by 6 o'clock.
Insure means secure or protect someone against something
e.g.: It is advisable to insure your life against accident.
Desert (verb) means empty, abandoned
e.g.: The tourists have deserted the forest.
Desert (noun) means a waterless land covered with sand
e.g.: The Thar desert is the largest desert in India.
Dessert means a sweet dish eaten at the end of a meal
e.g.: After dinner, we had ice cream as a dessert.