Most of us have studied English for years, started from fifth grade of elementary school or lower than that. However, English is foreign language for us and we find it difficult to study since we are rarely speaking in English. The reason of its strange language doesn’t make it is possible for us to learn English and speak English fluently.
Actually, learning English can be easier if we are interested in it. This interesting can be started by reading any kind of English texts, speaking English and listening to English speech or songs. In many kind of those activities, we are often confused about some related words and sometimes do not understand the differences between them.
This time I will show you all some of those related words.
These words are similar in meaning or pronunciation but they cannot be used interchangeably.
a) Advice (noun) is an opinion given to someone or counseling.
E.g. If I heed the lecturer’s advice, I will do well in my studies.
Advise (verb) is an act of giving an opinion or counsel.
E.g. My dad advised me patience.
b) Affect (verb) is an act to produce a change in.
E.g. The doctors wanted to see how the medication would affect the patient.
Effect 1. (noun) end result or consequence e.g.
c) Already (adverb) is an action that happened at an indefinite time before the present.
E.g. my dad’s plane had already landed before I got to the airport.
All ready (noun + adjective) which means prepared to do something.
E.g. we are all ready to go swimming.
d) Example (noun) is anything used to prove a point.
E.g. she has shown some good examples in her presentation.
Sample (noun) is a representative part of a whole.
E.g. A lady in the supermarket gives me a sample of cheese.
e) Formerly (adverb) means previously.
E.g. My mother formerly worked as a teacher, but now she is a secretary.
Formally (adverb) 1. An elegant way of dressing, it is usually a tuxedo for men and a long gown for women.
E.g. I was required to dress formally for attending my sister wedding ceremony.
f) House (noun) refers to the building or structure
E.g. I am building a new house in Bandung.
Home (noun) refers to the atmosphere or feeling of domestic tranquility found in a house.
E.g. home is where the heart is.
Besides of the related words, there are also some words which are misused for two reasons
a. Sometimes the spellings are so similar that we fail to distinguish between them
i) Angel (noun) is a spiritual or heavenly being.
Angle (noun) is a figure formed by two lines meeting at a common point.
ii) Dessert (noun) is the final course of meal, usually something sweet.
E.g. I had apple pie for dessert last night.
Desert (noun) is a hot, dry place.
E.g. it is not easy to survive in the desert without water.
Desert (verb) is an act of abandoning.
E.g. parents never desert their children.
iii) Quiet (adjective) is serene or without noise.
e.g. The class was so quiet that we could hear our own breath.
Quite (adverb) 1. Completely.
E.g. you are quite capable of taking the leader position in our team.
2. Somewhat or rather.
E.g. I was quite tired after my first day of job.
Quit (verb) means stop.
E.g. I quit smoking on my own decision.
b. Others are pronounced exactly the same but have different meanings and spelling
i) Cite (v): an example.
e.g. I had to cite many references in my history paper.
Site (n) means location.
E.g. the street in front of my house will be the site of the new shopping center.
Sight (noun) 1. Aim (of a gun or telescope) 2. View
E.g. through the site of the telescope, I can see the real shape of the moon.
E.g. watching the landing of an airplane was an amazing sight for me.
Sight (verb) see.
E.g. we sighted a boat in the river.
ii) Peace (n) is harmony or freedom of war.
E.g. peace means no war in this world.
Piece (n) is part of a whole.
E.g. I eat a piece of chocolate every day.
iii) Principal a. (noun) is a director of an elementary or secondary school b. (adjective) is main or most important.
E.g. the principal called me for coming to his office.
E.g. Jane was the principal speaker in the debate competition.
Principle (noun) is fundamental rule or adherence to such rule.
E.g. my dad is a man who believes that truthfulness is the best principle.
iv) Stationery (adjective) means no movable or having a fixed location.
E.g. the rain would be stationary for several days.
Stationary (noun) is a kind of special writing paper.
E.g. I bought monogram stationery in the book store.
v) Than (conjunction) is used in unequal comparison.
E.g. today’s weather is worse than yesterday’s
Then (adverb) is a time following previously mentioned time.
E.g. I wake up then take a bath.
vi) To (preposition) is toward, until, as far as.
E.g. I go to Bandung.
Two (noun or adjective) is number following one.
E.g. human being has two hands and two legs.
Too (adverb) 1. Excessively 2. Also
E.g. this morning was too cold for me to take a bath
E.g. Jane went to Bandung last night, and we did too.
From all those words problems, we can see how English has many words that similar each others. The solution for this problem is we should learn much more English by reading more, listening more and speaking more English.