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, email@example.com, as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
Agnes apparently held agnostic beliefs about her politics because she lacked strong beliefs about supporting the views of the major party.
Alfred, the new parishioner, was agnostic about whether anyone could be a complete agnostic.
Two friends, a theist and a deist, got together to debate whether being an atheist has anything in common with those who profess to be agnostic.
2. To foster, promote; make easy: Sometimes a good dictionary is a good tool to aid in the improvement of a person's English language.
If Renata continues to behave in an unruly manner, no one will come to her aid; but last week, she was fortunate because her doctor sent a very talented aide to give her the medication that she needed.
2. To cause uneasiness or pain; to afflict, to sicken: Because Roberta was showing a little sadness in her demeanor, her colleagues at work were wondering what could possibly ail her.
If the football crowd drinks too much ale at the game, they will begin to ail before they get home.
2. Biosphere, stratosphere, sky: The rocket blasted off into the air.
3. Wind, breeze, draft, current: When Andrea Gill opened the window, cold air blew in through the open window.
This is an old-fashioned or a literary term.
2. To deviate from an established moral code; to transgress, sin, misbehave: To err is human, to forgive divine.
2. A person who succeeds or is in line to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office: The king did not have an heir when he died.
An heir is someone who may be worth more financially than others and still be worthless.
Angie, the heir to the science project started to err when she wrote that ere there was air, the earth was surrounded by carbon dioxide.
Charles and his family wanted to go to that beautiful isle where they could enjoy their vacation.
I'll bet after they walk down the aisle, the bride and groom will leave for that distant isle they have talked about so often.
When Victor was in elementary school, he said that he learned more than he ever wanted to know about the workings of the alimentary canals in earth worms.
Pastor Marcus shouted that we are all mighty glad to know the power of the almighty presence of the Lord.
Helder, Wilfredo, and Nelson will go to the office when they are all ready.
2. Before this time: Chris and Zofia arrived at noon but Connie had already gone.
When Chesley arrived, the bus had already gone.
Letty was all ready to go on her trip, but when she went to the bus station, she found out that the bus had already gone and so she had to wait two more hours for the next one.
2. Satisfactorily, acceptably: The new chocolate cake recipe turned out to be all right.
3. Yes, very well: "All right," Joel said, "I'll do it just as you want it to be done".
This is generally considered to be the only acceptable "exception" to "all right".
Alright, although often misused by many people, it is still considered substandard English!
By day and night
I sing this song:
"All right's all right;
Alright's all wrong."
Lee's sister made a new cake recipe which came out all right, then when his niece took the cake to her office, her colleagues exclaimed, "That cake is all-right!".
The three friends were all together for the whole day.
All together now, everyone, let's sing!
Some of the constituents were not altogether pleased by the outcome of the election.2. On the whole; considering everything: Altogether, Meagan was sorry that the accident happened.
3. Informal, naked; nude: When Jorge's mother opened the door, there her little boy stood in his altogether undressed condition.
The garage at the home of the famous skater, Pearce, was altogether destroyed by fire; but he announced that his gold medals were all together in a safe place.
2. The entire distance, from start to finish: All ways will be checked by the school staff to see what they need to do to for the poor child.
3. Every method, all possible techniques: The teachers tried in all ways to interest Mary in studying.
2. Eternally, forever, perpetually: Abelard vowed that he would always love Heloise.
3. At any time; in any event: Jacob was told by the counselor that he could always get another job if he wanted to.
Even though Kimberly believed that she could always get a new job, she found out that she had to explore all ways of getting new employment; including advertising and talking with friends, before she could get the job that she really wanted.
Gerome used an awl to make all the holes in the lathing for Jill's front porch.
2. To rest, to relieve: Medicine will allay a person's pain.
2. Narrow passage: This alley leads nowhere.
Alley follows the simple rule of adding an “s” to become a plural; alley, alleys: Cats prowled the alleys of the town.
Don't confuse "alleys" with allies, the plural of ally: France was just one of the allies of the United States during the war.
With money you can buy all the allies you want, but they are never worth the price.
It seemed to allay Fred's fears when he realized that the foundry that used a new alloy was just two alleys away from him; so he found himself an ally and they went there together.
In the Alligatoridae, the teeth of the lower jaw fit inside those of the upper jaw, whereas in the Crocodylidae, the teeth of the two jaws form a single interdititating row when the jaws are closed.
In crocodiles, the fourth tooth of the lower jaw fits into an indentation of the upper jaw and is exposed to view when the mouth is closed.
In alligators, this tooth is hidden from view when the mouth is closed, because it fits into a pit which exists in the upper jaw.
Other physical characteristics exist; however, the foregoing information is the most outstanding.
Crocodilians are well-adapted as predators, with few natural enemies. Bony plates, called osteoderms, form a kind of armor in their thick skin.
Their teeth, about 30 to 40 in each jaw, are set into sockets in the jawbones and interlock when the mouth is closed.
Crocodilians are the most vocal reptiles, producing sounds from quiet hisses to fearsome roars and bellows, usually during the mating season. On land, crocodilians move quickly in a belly crawl but can also gallop and walk mammal-like on all four legs.
Darrell's friend told Derrick that an easy way to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is that an alligator has an "A" shaped snout and the snout of a crocodile is more rounded.