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@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.
2. Smaller than other things of the same kind: The camera is compact and it is still very versatile.
2. An automobile which is smaller than a medium sized car: In order to save gas, the couple decided to purchase a compact, replacing their larger model.
3. An agreement or a covenant: The knight swore a compact with his king to protect the kingdom.
2. The impression of something which may be compelling or significant: The impact of the discoveries of Madam Curie revolutionized science.
The compact between the automobile companies resulted in the development of several compact models which had a significant impact on the economy.
Lorene's aunt, Mrs. Jones by compellation, gained academic recognition through her compilation of Folk Legends from the Far North.
Josefina, the complaisant neighbor, had a complacent look on her face when she described the renovations of her house.
2. The usual number or quantity of something that is needed or used: Hank had a full complement of animals on his farm.
2. An action that expresses admiration or approval: When people recommend Shaun's book to friends and family members, he considers that to be the best compliment he can receive.
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough. In fact, nobody has ever been bored by someone paying him a compliment.
The milliner's compliment to the customer that the new hat was the perfect complement to her suit was much appreciated.
The customer said she now had a full complement of hats to match all of her outfits whereupon the milliner complimented her for making such an investment.
2. Something which is given free of any charges: The restaurant offers valet parking as a complimentary service.
The restaurant and the parking lot ownership had a complementary relationship because the parking lot attendant would offer complimentary parking to the restaurant customers in exchange for the restaurant patrons completing a survey form for the parking company.
The department manager stated that when the report is complete, he wanted to see it ASAP.
2. Having reached the end of an activity, job, etc.: Cameron started his homework two hours ago and he still isn't finished.
After the apprentice workers finished each toy kit, the senior craftsman checked to be sure the kits were complete before they were put in their designated boxes.
The bank clerk provided a very complex explanation about the compound interest regarding the account of Elsa's husband.
In fact, he got a headache and had to go to the drugstore to ask for a compound to ease his discomfort.
The druggist used a complex of different ingredients when making the compound, assuring the man that the mixture would work.
In response to the request from his supervisor, the social worker prepared a comprehensive manual for others to follow to prepare future comprehensible reports for the office.
Rudy has indicated that he wants to consort with other writers.
2. A ship accompanying another in travel: As the oil ship was traveling through the dangerous piracy area, there was a consort which was prepared to protect the bigger one.
The queen and her consort decided to attend a concert in a foreign country to which they would travel by ship accompanied by a consort which carried all of their luggage.
2. Something that is done because a particular situation makes it necessary or desirable: Matt takes afternoon naps now as a concession to his working so late every day.
2. The act of telling others about something that makes a person embarrassed, ashamed, etc.: Josefina has a confession to make about not being prepared to do the assignment.
3. An avowal of belief in the doctrines of a particular faith; a creed: Rudy expressed his confession of faith as a member of a group of worshipers who adhered to the same specific creed.
In his confession to the police, the fraudster made one concession to the truth when he admitted that he wrote the invalid checks.
This confession embarrassed him because he was not accustomed to making a concession in order to avoid further questioning.
Please write a succinct report that will provide a concise explanation of the plot of the story.
2. To judge or to declare to be unfit for use or consumption, usually by an official order: The official said he had to condemn the old building because it was not safe.
After listening to the evidence which the judge was inclined to contemn, the criminal and he agreed with the verdict from the jury which was to condemn the criminal to ten years in prison.
2. An official letter that praises someone publicly: The soldier was awarded a commendation for bravery.
During his commendation to the citizen for bravery in helping those who fell into the river, the mayor also issued a condemnation of the poor construction of the bridge which lead to the accident.
The president of the condominium owners association would not condone the existence of a condom in the elevator.
I am confident that a confidante is someone who never betrays a confidence without first imposing the strictest secrecy.
Confident is the feeling some people have before they know better.