Confusing Words Clarified: Group A; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "A" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
English can be very confusing; for example, a house burns up as it burns down, a form is being filled in as it is being filled out, and an alarm goes off by going on. How about when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible?
As you examine the groups of words in this unit, you will find many examples of confusions; sometimes, just one or two letters in a word can change its meaning completely. There are also times when two different words get confused because their meanings apply to things that are very similar.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of various words that may be confusing so you can utilize them with greater accuracy in your communication.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by writing to: E-mail Contact (just click it for an e-mail form) or by typing, firstname.lastname@example.org, as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
Agenda was originally the plural of Latin "agendum" (thing to be done) and is still considered by some to be a plural form.
In modern English; however, agenda is usually considered as the singular form with agendas the plural: What is on the agenda for the meeting?
The secretary kept track of the two executives’ agendas.
After his secretary printed the new agenda, Gordan realized he also needed the revised addenda which should be printed in an addendum.
An experienced adder is the person who should count the number of adder in the local park.
The new part-time job made it possible for Edna to have addible cash for her expenses.
Josephine was compiling a list of edible vegetation areas in her garden; however, when the calculations were completed, she realized there were still some addible spaces to also cultivate flowers.
2. Inclusion or being part of a group: The addition of a baby to the household changed their lives.
3. Increase, enlargement, extra: The addition in cost over last year’s tuition is $500.
4. Annex, extension, adjunct: The addition to the town library will double its size.
2. The size, style, or form in which a book is published: The publisher also printed a smaller "pocket edition".
The index was a new addition to the latest edition of the textbook.
2. Trace the course, descent, or origin of: Based on Rhonda's conversation, Floyd could deduce that she had come from a large family.
Because the officer was able to adduce an explanation for the accident, the judge was able to deduce who was responsible.
2. Adhesiveness, stickiness: Warren was putting more glue on the wallpaper to increase its adherence.
The new sports team adherents exhibited a steadfast adherence to the guidelines for behavior in the stadium.
2. Move, depart for: Having finished dinner, the guests decided to adjourn to the living room for coffee.
As chairman, Curtis decided to adjourn the meeting so the group could go for their lunch in the restaurant which adjoined their meeting place.
Some adolescents complete their adolescence when they are old enough to vote.
Do not be discouraged by adverse criticism.
Fred does not approve of liquor in any form and he is even averse to drinking wine.
The adverse publicity didn't hurt Zachary's acting career; however, the hostility of the crowd did make him averse to performing at the next theatrical performance.
2. Formal or official information about something; intelligence, news, report: Advice from abroad indicates that war is about to begin.
Lorraine will advise her friend to get a second medical opinion for the treatment of her ailment.2. To inform, tell, notify, make known: The weather report did advise the community that the roads were too icy for the trip.
"Jackie, Derrick wants to advise you to take Glenn's advice and to continually increase your vocabulary skills as often as possible."
2. Jaunty, sprightly, lively, frolicsome: The little goats hopped around in an airy way.
"The band played an airy tune."3. Imaginary, fanciful, dreamy, ethereal, unrealistic: The daydreamer's head was full of airy thoughts.
Seeing the aerie of the eagle in the airy forest gave Glenda an eerie feeling.
The soft, gentle breezes affect her disposition.2. To pretend, to feign: Although Joy is from New York; as an actress, she had to affect a British accent.
The soft gentle breezes have an effect on Marvin's disposition.2. Influence, power, force: The plea for clemency had no effect on the judge.
2. To produce, to accomplish, to bring about: Does the new hairdo effect Lydia's appearance?
The affect of the curve ball did not effect the batter's hitting a home run.
2. Family resemblance, similarity, likeness: There is a close affinity between lemons and limes.
2. In photography, a distance setting, as on a camera, beyond which the entire field is clearer and sharper: Tanya, the landscape photographer, set the lens on her camera to infinity so objects at a distance would be in focus.
Carla seemed to have an affinity for photography; with careful precision, she set the aperture of the camera to infinity when taking long-distance shots.
2. Something that flows out or forth; the emitting or sending out: The odor of the gas leak became an effluence that made several people ill.
2. The ability to produce effects indirectly by means of power based on wealth, high position, etc.: The office gossip was that Ophelia, who was his secretary, had a strong urge to marry Jim Pendleton, the CEO, not for love, but because of his affluence (wealth) and influence in politics
The influence of the affluents didn't matter when the city was trying to solve the problem of the effluence of the effluents into the sewer system.
2. To exasperate, anger, vex: The bossy attitude of Earle's supervisor, Helen Jones, tends to aggravate him a great deal.
2. To trouble, to upset, to disturb: Howard wanted to know why Jennifer had to annoy him during his afternoon nap.
2. To make someone very angry or frustrated, often by repeatedly doing something agitating: Bradley's and Mary Ann's mother complained that every time they were bickering, it would exasperate her.
2. To make painful, to make sore: Woolen clothing tends to irritate many people; especially, if they have a rash.
The sound of the music from the apartment upstairs is starting to annoy Tara.
If the noise from the radio gets much louder, it will aggravate Connie to the point that it will exasperate her and she might have to go upstairs to speak to Edwin and she hopes that when she asks him to lower the sound that it won't irritate and upset him.