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.
2. To move like advancing waves: "We could see the fans surge forward to see the movie star."
2. A sudden spontaneous or planned increase in an activity: "President Barack Obama is set to formally authorize the dispatch of additional U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan, the beginning stage of a military surge that will likely add many more military personnel over the next year or more, doubling the U.S. occupation forces."
There seems to be a sudden fashion surge for blue serge suits this year.
2. Maintaining a scrupulous standard for behavior: "I thought that her expectations of the children’s behavior were severe considering their ages."
3. Harsh, difficult, causing discomfort: "A winter in Northern Canada can be severe if anyone is not prepared for it."
4. Requiring great effort: "The war is a severe test of his leadership ability."
She thought it was a rather severe decision on the part of her great aunt to sever all connections with her former colleagues when she retired.
"Her mother told her that she shouldn't eat so fast."2. In the same way: "He was always a hard worker and so was his mother."
2. To cause fear, doubt, etc. that can affect a large number of people: "Threats of war can sow fear in the region."
So, a crow can scatter wheat seeds, but can a sow sow corn or can she even sew a dress? See how easy it is to confuse these words?
Remarked the tailor feeling low, "Business is bad, or just sew, sew."
The new sewerage system was designed to remove the sewage more efficiently than the previous sewerage system.
2. Formerly, in England, an attendant who supervised the serving of meals and the seating of guests: "The Medieval romance described the sewer who was attached to the household and was in charge of making sure the food was properly prepared."
2. Someone who makes, mends, or fastens material with a needle and thread: "Her mother was known as a talented and a practical sewer because she could do so many things with her needles and various threads."
2. To glide or to fly without an engine and not lose altitude: "The pilot was able to soar over the plains in the glider which he had built."
3. To rise to a majestic or exalted professional or public level: "With the help of his secretary, his career began to soar in the company."
4. To increase very quickly in amount or price: "Housing costs started to soar to greater amounts then suddenly dropped causing what has been termed to be a housing bubble."
2. Anyone who is responsible for introducing something into a special or selected environment: "The scientist was the sower of a new breed of wheat in the farm region."
3. A person who tries to cause fear, doubt, etc. which will affect many people: "The leader of the opposition was a deliberate sower of discord among the voters in the recent elections."
Someone told me that he saw a hand reaching up from a manhole in the street and it was showing a threaded needle.
It's the only time he had ever seen a sewer coming out of a sewer.
The suer in the court action involved a sower who worked in the wrong field as a young farmer and who had hoped to use part of his farm area as a place to soar his glider. Unfortunately, there was also a sewer pipe crossing the field that hampered his objectives.
Later, the young farmer approached a neighbor who was well known as a clever sewer to make a wind sock for his gliding enterprise.
2. Sending sexually explicit text messages via electronic means between individuals which may include pictures: "Both parents of the boy and girl were very upset when they found out that their children had sexted to each other."
"In other parts of the country, teens have been arrested for sexting on the internet."
Come on people, don't you know that your sexted messages on the internet can be seen by other people?
Every time you sext images and messages, you have actually sexted them for the world to see.
"A six-month trial of mobile calling, texting, and other data services were made available to their customers."
Hey, friend, I've been texting you for several days and you haven't texted me back. Would you please text me soon so I'll know that you are all right.
The sexton at their church had an interesting career before working at the church. He was previously working on a tall ship and used a sextant to guide the vessel during its voyages.
"Shall I open the present now?"2. Shall is used in legal documents, in which it indicates a duty or responsibility: "This tenant shall obtain the landlord's permission before he makes any changes to the property."
Grammar rules formerly had the following formats which now are generally no longer utilized!
First person: I shall (s); we shall (pl)
Second person: you will (s); you will (pl)
Third person: he, she, it will (s); they will (pl)
First person: I will (s); we will (pl)
Second person: you shall (s); you shall (pl)
Third person: he, she, it shall (s); they shall (pl)
"The artificial distinction between shall and will to designate futurity has neither a basis in historical grammar nor the sound sanction of universal usage."
"Tomorrow he will shear the lawn and the bushes."
2. Straight up and down, perpendicular: "They decided they could not climb the sheer cliff today, but they are determined to try it tomorrow."
3. To act with focused determination: "She won the scholarship through her sheer determination to excel in all her examinations."
It takes sheer concentration to learn to shear sheep so the sheerer doesn't nick them.
2. Any of a variety of coverings or supporting structures: "The woman's umbrella has a protective sheath which she uses when she puts it back into her shoulder bag."
2. To put something; such as, a sword, into a into a protective case or covering: "The swordsman was about to sheathe his sword."
The roofers were using a plastic sheath material to sheathe the hole in the roof until after the heavy rains.
2. A ledge of rocks usually partially submerged in water: "The waterfowl stood on the shelf in the bay while they were hunting for small fish."
3. A flat area of rock, sand, ground, etc.; especially underwater: "The swimmers had to be careful of the shelf of sand covered rock and shallow water when they were diving off shore."
2. To put aside or to remove from active work or service: "I had to shelve my idea of sailing around the world because I lost my job."
"When she was called to the office, the engineer thought her boss was going to shelve her."
His after school job was to shelve the architect's drawings on the wide shelf that was made especially for the large pieces of paper.
2. A metal rim that is designed to protect the foot of a horse or similar animal: "The blacksmith made a new shoe for the mule while the farmer waited."
3. A part of the brake system used to slow the motion of something: "The auto mechanic told my friend that she needed a new brake shoe for each of the back wheels, if she wanted to use her car safely."
"We tried to help the woman, but her response was to shoo us away."
She lost her left shoe while she was running across the yard trying to shoo the goose out of the garden.
2. To be fair or brilliant; for example, the weather: "The sun has shone most of today which everyone has enjoyed after three days of heavy rain."
2. To have pointed out or exhibited: "The real estate agent has shown the neighbor's house to three couples who are interested in buying it."
His reaction was that the sun finally had shone on the day that he sold his car. He figured that he had shown it to at least a dozen people before someone finally decided to buy it.
2. Someone who shoots a weapon; such as, a bow and arrow, a gun, etc.: "The woman is a better shot with the handgun than her brother."
3. A critical or insulting remark: "He took a shot at his opponent more than once during the debate."
"As his parting shot, the senator said that the other candidate simply didn't have any idea what the needs of his state are."4. An attempt to do something successfully: "The football team lost the game, but there is no denying that the players gave it their best shot."
5. An informal expression referring to a photograph: "The mother got a good snap shot of the children while they were making their snowman."
"You can be sure that the police will make more than one mug shot of the person who is accused of robbing the bank."6. An act of putting something; such as, medicine or vaccine, into the body with a needle: "The man decided to go get his flu shot this winter."
"She shot an arrow at an apple on the fence and hit it right in the center."2. Gone, moved, or passed quickly and suddenly in a particular direction or to a particular place: "The musical album shot straight to the top of the charts."
"After sliding off the icy road into the ditch, her car was so shot that it won't pay to fix it!"
"The family had to stop and rest because they were simply too shot to drive any more that evening."
His nerves are shot because while he was trying to learn to shoot a cross bow, it turned out to be a lousy shot.
In fact, his friend took a shot of the man trying to get a good shot at the target and twittered it to all of their friends. He gave it his best shot and so having shot a bull's eye once, he retired from the sport.
2. Part of a camera that opens and shuts to allow light to expose the film: "The shutter on her camera got stuck and so she had to get it repaired."
"She wanted to shutter the windows to keep the house cooler by diminishing the glare of the sun during the summer heat."
I shudder to think what damage might have happened if the shutter on the window had not been closed.