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Confused Words

Sep 5, 2022

Words evolve with use, misuse over time, sometimes obstructing their meanings. Here are current conjugations and clarifications of some commonly used confused words.  

Commonly Used Confused Words

Affect, Effect 

Affect is a verb meaning to influence. Effect is a noun meaning result. 

Lie, Lay 

Lie is a verb meaning to be on a surface. Lay is a verb meaning to put or place. 

  • Jen lies down to take a nap every day at 3:30 p.m.  
  • Before falling asleep, Jen lays her bracelet on the table. 

Lose, Loose 

The word lose is a verb which means to misplace. Loose is an adjective that can mean slack, moveable, or weak. 

  • I always manage to lose my loose-fitting t-shirt. 

One Word, Two Word Combos 

People often confuse the same words that appear as one word, or two words. They are used in different contexts, however, and so learning when to use each will improve your writing’s quality.  


Following are the examples of the difference between them: 

Anyway, Any way 

Anyway means regardless. Any way is a verb phrase meaning any manner or method. 

  • I don’t want to go to the meeting, anyway.  
  • We could take any way we want to get to the meeting. 

Than, Then 

Than is used to compare two things. Then is usually an adverb indicating time. 

  • Do you think that McDonald’s is better than Burger King?  
  • We went to the shopping, and then to a movie. 

Their, There, They’re 

Their is a pronoun which is a plural. There is a word that means place. There is another version of they are. 

  • Their cat is over there digging through the trash. 
  • They’re not the most responsible pet owners. 

To, Too, Two 

To is a indicates direction. Too is an adverb which means in addition or also. Two is a number. 

  • Ravi likes playing the guitar too. 
  • He went to the mall. 
  • He lives two miles across the road. 

Who, Whom 

Who is a pronoun which is a subject of a sentence. Whom is a pronoun used as a direct object. 

  • Who is responsible for this group project? 
  • Whom did she assign for this group project? 

Your, You’re 

Your is a pronoun. You’re in a another version of you are. 

  • Your shirt will wrinkle  
  • if you’re not careful while washing your clothes, it will wrinkle. 


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