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Introduction to Confusing Words

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug”.


Confusing words questions have been designed to check primarily for mental alertness – differentiating between two similar words.

To excel in this chapter, having a good vocabulary only may not be sufficient. A good vocabulary can be useful when used to trigger a word already in your vocabulary bank. But simply plucking out a near-synonym can result in some disastrous situation because the word may not fit the context of the question. And there comes the need of understanding the usage of words and having mental alertness to identify the minor differences between/among them.

Specially, in today’s time, when students have got access to computer/MS Word/T9 in mobiles, which prompt predictive typing or suggested right word for every wrong word, at a very early stage mental alertness is of much more importance.

We start this chapter by providing a list of Commonly Mistaken Word followed by exercises. Though, needless to say, any such list cannot be exhaustive and students are advised to keep looking for such words in their day to day reading too.

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