Confusing Words Clarified: Group C; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "C" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
Three words that every student of language should understand are homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms.
Homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different meanings. Synonyms are words that are related in meaning but do not sound alike (begin and commence, for example).
Antonyms are direct opposites in meaning, as hot and cold; white and black.
With homonyms, the following set of to, too, and two are all pronounced exactly alike, but by no means are they interchangeable in writing. To be sure that you choose the correct spelling for any on these, you must know the meanings of all three so you will not make wrong choices with a feeling of vagueness and uncertainty.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of these and other 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 protected], as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
2. To assign a theatrical performer to a part in a drama: Flora's sister was cast in the leading role by the director of the play.
2. A group of actors participating in a play, movie, or theatrical performance: There was a party for the cast after the opening performance.
Even though Lola's uncle was from the upper caste, he was active in the theater and was often cast in the part of a magician who could cast a ball up into the air and have it turn into a feather.
2. Someone who throws something: Byron was a professional caster of nets in the ocean so he could catch fish.
2. An oily odorous secretion of beavers; used in medicine and perfumery: Salvador was surprised to learn that his wife's perfume was made from the unpleasant smelling castor of beavers.
The large cask of castor oil was sitting on the pallet which had casters under it for ease of movement.
It was clearly marked: CASTOR OIL so it wouldn't be confused with the small cask of beaver castor imported from Canada.
2. An offhand, unfeeling, or uncaring remark: Carol's husband made a casual remark about her shoes.
Helga's son has a casual attitude regarding his homework for school.
The inappropriate casual remark made by the neighbor had the unfortunate causal effect of breaking up their friendship.
The lion is often called the "King of the Cats".2. Now considered an old-fashioned word to refer to a man who considers himself to be fashionable: He was a cool cat who wore spats and a striped suit.
The old cat thought he was so cool when he got some khat to chew, but when he got home he was so sleepy he forgot to feed his hungry cat.
2. A terrible and devastating natural disaster; such as, a flood: An earthquake can cause a great cataclysm; especially, in a densely populated area.
The summer cataclysm of hail and heavy rains caused a cataclasm of the dikes along the river and a terrible cataclysm of flooding in the river bottoms.
Yvette's friend attended a university run by an order of the Roman Catholic Church where she received a very catholic education which included literature, science, and mathematics.
2. To cook slowly in liquid that is just below the boiling point: On Sunday mornings he liked to coddle an egg or two for breakfast.
The doctor advised the mother not to coddle her son so much because she made a dish of caudle every night for him before bed.
Then one night, Billie spilled the caudle on purpose and the mother spanked him on his caudal.
2. Something or someone that produces an effect, result, or condition: The exact cause of the accident is still not known.
The caws of the crows were the cause of Olivia's waking up early in the morning.
Fortunately, this gave her more time to prepare for the committee that was working for the cause of the unemployed.
2. The beginning of something which continues to develop or grow: Amelia's comment planted a seed of doubt in his mind.
Lola wants to cede her community garden plot to her friend who will seed it with several different kinds of plants.
Paul wasn't sure that he would succeed in writing a sentence for these three suffixes; however, he did concede that this presentation would supersede his original plan to ignore it.
2. To line a ship's bottom and sides with planking: The ship’s carpenter used pine boards to ceil the bottom and sides of the ship.
2. A marine mammal characterized by a sleek, streamlined body and flippers for swimming and maneuvering on land: It was noisy but interesting to hear and to see the colonies of seal near the beach.
The ship had a new ceil which meant we could sail out to the islands to enumerate the herd of seal.
Once the count was done, the captain would seal his report using a red wax seal before mailing it to the appropriate authorities.
2. An upper limit, especially as set by a regulation: The government set a wage ceiling for the next year.
2. Something that closes or fastens tightly or securely: When packing to move, Kristy used tape as sealing for the boxes.
A sign in a munitions factory stated: "If you insist on smoking in this building, be prepared to leave this world through a hole in the ceiling."
Once the ceiling was finished, the painters used a coat of sealing before starting to paint.
When Kent worked on a farm one summer, part of his salary was vegetables from the field. He especially liked the green celery.
2. Small, hollow places: Honeycombs are made up of connecting cells joined to each other.
3. A unit of living matter: With the fine new microscope, the scientist could study the cell matter of the plant.
4. The container which holds the material to produce electricity: The mechanic had to add water to each battery cell so the car would start again.
2. To make things available to be purchased: This is one of the few stores that sells the type of materials Carol needed to repair sections of her work room.
3. To persuade someone to accept or to approve of something or someone: James told his brother that he would have to sell himself at the interview if he wanted to get the job that he was applying for.
The young guy was caught trying to sell stolen property for which he was sentenced to spend time in a small cell at the local jail.
While Ivan was there studying at the tech school, he invented a new solar cell for producing electricity which he now sells over the internet.
2. The lowest level or standing; especially, in the relative standing of athletic teams: The new baseball player started in the cellar on the team; so, the only way to go was up.
2. An item that is purchased in large numbers and in a specified manner: The store stocked 500 copies of the book based on the review which said it would be a best seller!
For a long time, he has been known as a "basement salesman" or a cellar seller.
Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.
"Standard English and Nonstandard English" article with a poem of confusing English words.
Confusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.