Confusing Words Clarified: Group S; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +
(lists of "S" 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.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
Children like to scuff by dragging their feet through piles of leaves in the yard.2. To roughen or to scratch by wear: Before she could dance in her new high heels, it was necessary for her to scuff the soles of her shoes on the sidewalk so they wouldn't be slippery.
When he walked across the lawn, his left scuff caught on a twig. He didn't want to scuff his scuff(s) again so he took them off and started to scuff through the grass in his bare feet.
As he was walking, his kitten ran to meet him and he picked her up by the scruff of her neck to carry her into the house.
2. The skeleton head bone of a vertebrate which encloses and protects the brain and other delicate parts in that part of the body: In the museum I saw the skull believed to be that of the oldest primate in the world.
They knew they were in danger when their scull hit a skull floating in the river.
The local sculptor created a magnificent sculpture for the new municipal building.
2. An essentially landlocked body of saltwater of secondary size to the ocean: The Mediterranean Sea is a beautiful blue during the summer.
3. The heaving motion of the surface of a large body of water: The rough sea caused the ship to toss up and down just before Jack and Jill arrived in the English Channel.
4. A gathering of vast dimensions: From Lucy's balcony, she could watch the sea of faces gathered in the town square below.
2. To recognize, to understand, or to suppose: Looking at the sales figures, Mr. Smith can see a steady decline in profits.
Investors were never able to see this turn in the stock market coming.
We asked our California friends if they can see the sea from their house.
2. The space between the wooden planks on a ship: The sailors used pitch to fill the seam that was leaking.
3. A thin layer of something lying between sections of a different substance: We could see the seam of silver ore glinting in the dark rock.
2. To have a quality, appearance, etc., that shows or suggests a particular characteristic, feeling, etc.: What they're doing doesn't seem right to me.
It would seem that the seam in the tent doesn’t keep the rain out.
The difference between a kiss and a sewing machine is this; one sews seams nice and the other seems so nice.
It seemed to her that the seamstress seamed the torn place in her coat so well that the seam was invisible.
The seamen were concerned about their colleague because the doctor had ordered a test of his semen.
Bryce saw the lightning sear the tree.
2. A person who looks for or who perceives information by using his or her eyes: John's aunt who had limited vision always traveled with a friend who acted as her seer, describing the scenery, etc.
Another way to describe "dried cranberries" is to say the cranberries are sere.
At the local BBQ and street fair, a seer was predicting how the chef would sear the roast. "As a seer, Mark can see him planning to sear it until it is quite sere."
2. Large bodies of water, salt or fresh, that are more or less landlocked: Mr. Hathaway's boat was overwhelmed by the heavy seas caused by terrible thunder storms.
2. To grasp, to take possession of, to capture: The publisher was enthusiastic as he told the author that his new novel would seize the imagination of the public.
Mr. Chips cautioned the students to cease their talking and to do their work.2. To stop performing an activity or action; to desist: The noise will cease when the cars stop honking their horns.
The goal of a pirate captain is to wander the seas (with his fellow pirates) and to seize any ship he sees that looks as if it has any value even if he has to lay siege to it until he gets his loot; then after that he will cease his efforts until another victim is found.
We had a seasonable discussion about what to do about our friend's upcoming birthday.
We had a seasonal snowstorm on the first of December.
Since we are expecting seasonal weather for the weekend, we are planning a seasonable outdoors activity to celebrate the end of the school year.
2. Descriptive of secret or classified information: The sensitive documents for which the minister was responsible were accidentally left in the restaurant.
3. Regarding a condition which is easily susceptible to change or fluctuation: The temperature in the room was sensitive as the result of the drafts coming in through the crack in the window.
The well-known and sensitive news reporter was awarded prizes of excellence for a series of articles that provided sensuous descriptions of those who are looking for physical gratifications in other parts of the world in order to satisfy their sensual desires.
"I am" is the shortest grammatical sentence in English, but "I do" can be a life sentence.
2. Referring to the drainage system for a tank holding sewage and other waste: The roots of the tree had clogged the septic tank and the city engineers needed to be called to clear it out.
The environmental sceptic was observed poking around in the septic trash in a park where he injured his thumb which required a styptic application in order to prevent his thumb from becoming septic.
There was a drawing of a seraph on the ceiling of the chapel and surrounding the seraph was some elegant writing with a distinctive serif highlighting each letter; such as, A B C D E F all of which are showing the extra serif highlighting the marks on the letters.
2. To go on the internet or to watch television for recreation, education, or entertainment; frequently changing the site or channel: James likes to surf the internet looking for information that can provide sources of information for his university classes.
He felt like a serf having to work so much all week; so, it was a relief on the weekend when he could surf the internet and learn some new things.