English has a lot of commonly confused words. They either look alike, sound alike or, worst of all, look and sound alike but have completely different meanings. Other words look and sound different but are similar in meaning, and it’s hard to determine which is the correct one in a given context. Here are some examples of confusing words:
Advice / Advise
Advice is an uncountable noun.
Masha gave Alex good advice.
Advise is a verb.
Masha advised Alex not to eat the chicken salad.
Among / Between
Among expresses a collective or loose relationship of several items.
John found a letter hidden among the papers on the desk.
Between expresses the relationship of one thing to another thing or to many other things.
Marcus spent all day carrying messages between John and the other students.
Disinterested / Uninterested
Disinterested means impartial.
A panel of disinterested judges who had never met the contestants before judged the singing contest.
Uninterested means bored or not wanting to be involved with something.
Charles was uninterested in attending Mary’s singing class.
Lay / Lie
To lay means to put or to place.
Chris will lay out her outfit before she goes to bed.
To lie means to recline.
Pam will lie down for a nap.
The past tense of to lay is laid.
Chris laid out her outfit.
The past tense of to lie is lay.
Pam lay down for a nap over an hour ago.