Can You Identify These Commonly Confused Words From a Definition?

By: Becky Stigall

Can You Identify These Commonly Confused Words From a Definition?
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Think you could be an English major (hey, maybe you are)? Then this quiz is for you!

Nothing annoys an English teacher more than the person who can't distinguish between 'there,'' their,' or 'they're.' Nothing gets an editor's goat more than the misuse of 'to,' 'too,' and 'two.' And, nothing will get a tutor in a tizzy more than the student who thinks 'it's' is possessive. Argh!

Let's be honest... sometimes we learn the realities of using words incorrectly the hard way. After all, it's hard to remember all of the ins and outs of the English language. But, if you're one of those web surfers who can't stand reading content and comments that don't come close to approaching the proper use of the language, then we bet you'll do well on this quiz.

So, if you know that 'their' is a possessive form of they, 'they're' is a contraction of they and are, and 'there' refers to a place or location; if you know that 'two' is the written form of the number 2, 'to' is a preposition, and 'too' means also; and if you know that 'it's' is a contraction formed by the words it and is, and 'its' is actually the possessive form of it; then you can brag to your English teacher that you got an A.

Let's get started!

Which word is a verb that means "to receive"?
Accept
"Accept" is a verb that means "to receive." It is often confused with "except."
Except

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Which word is a conjunction that means "apart from"?
Accept
Except
"Except" is a conjunction that means "apart from." It is often confused with "accept."

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Which is a noun phrase that means "many"?
A lot
"A lot" is a noun phrase that means "many." "A lot" is often confused with "allot" and "alot." "Alot" is not a real word.
Allot

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Which word is a noun that means "money"?
Cache
Cash
"Cash" is a noun that means "money." It is often confused with "cache."

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Which word is a noun that means "a safe place to store supplies"?
Cache
"Cache" is a noun that means "a safe place to store supplies." It is often confused with "cash."
Cash

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Which word is a noun that means "indirect reference"?
Allusion
"Allusion" is a noun that means "indirect reference." It is often confused with "illusion."
Illusion

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Which word is an adverb that means "for a short time"?
Awhile
"Awhile" is an adverb that means "for a short time." It is often confused with "a while."
A while

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Which word is a verb that means "to evoke"?
Elicit
"Elicit" is a verb that means "to evoke." It is often confused with "illicit."
Illicit

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Which word is an adjective that means "not good"?
Bad
"Bad" is an adjective that means "not good." It is often confused with "badly."
Badly

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Which of the following is a verb that means "mimic"?
Imitate
"Imitate" is a verb that means "mimic." It is often confused with the word "intimate."
Intimate

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Which word is a verb that means "to have an effect on"?
Affect
"Affect" is a verb that means "to have an effect on." It is often confused with "effect."
Effect

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Which word is a noun that means "that which completes or brings to perfection"?
Complement
"Complement" is a noun that means "that which completes or brings to perfection." It is often confused with "compliment." Hey - nice shoes!
Compliment

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Which word is a noun that means "result"?
Affect
Effect
"Effect" is a noun that means "result." It is often confused with "affect."

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Which word is a verb that means "to abandon"?
Desert
"Desert" is a verb that means "to abandon." It is often confused with "dessert."
Dessert

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Which is a verb that means "the past perfect tense of the verb buy"?
Had bought
"Had bought" is a verb - the past perfect tense of the verb "buy." It is often confused with "had boughten," which is incorrect.
Had boughten

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Which word is a possessive pronoun that means "belonging to"?
Its
"Its" is a possessive pronoun that means "belonging to." It is often confused with the word "it's."
It's

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Which word is a verb that means "to mislay"?
Lose
"Lose" is a verb that means "to mislay." It is often confused with the word "loose."
Loose

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Which word is a verb that means "to go before in time"?
Precede
"Precede" is a verb that means "to go before in time." It is often confused with "proceed."
Proceed

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Which word is a verb that means "assign"?
Alot
Allot
"Allot" is often confused with "a lot" and "alot." "Alot" is not actually a word.

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Which word is a noun that means "an unreal appearance or image"?
Allusion
Illusion
"Illusion" is a noun that means "an unreal appearance or image." It is often confused with "allusion."

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Which word is an adverb that means "not well"?
Bad
Badly
"Badly" is an adverb that means "not well." It is often confused with "bad."

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Which word is a noun that means "praise"?
Complement
Compliment
"Compliment" is a noun that means "praise." It is often confused with "complement."

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Which word is a noun that means "dry, sandy region"?
Desert
"Desert" is a noun that means "dry, sandy region." It is often confused with "dessert."
Dessert

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Which word is a noun that means "a sweet treat served at the end of a meal"?
Desert
Dessert
"Dessert" is a noun that means "a sweet treat served at the end of a meal." It is often confused with "desert."

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Which word is an adjective that means "illegal"?
Elicit
Illicit
"Illicit" is an adjective that means "illegal." It is often confused with "elicit."

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Which word is a verb that means "to imply"?
Imitate
Intimate
"Intimate" is a verb that means "to imply." It is often confused with imitate.

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Which word is a contraction of it + is?
Its
It's
"It's" is a contraction of "it" and "is." It is often confused with the word "its."

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Which word is a noun that means "a governing officer of a school"?
Principal
"Principal" is a noun that means "a governing officer of a school." It is often confused with "principle."
Principle

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Which word is a noun that means "a view"?
Sight
"Sight" is a noun that means "a view." It is often confused with the word "site."
Site

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Which word is an adjective that means "fixed or still"?
Stationary
"Stationary" is an adjective that means "fixed or still." It is often confused with "stationery."
Stationery

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Which word is a noun that means "writing materials"?
Stationary
Stationery
"Stationery" is a noun that means "writing materials." It is often confused with "stationary."

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Which word is an adjective that means "not tight"?
Lose
Loose
"Loose" is an adjective that means "not tight." It is often confused with "lose."

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Which word is a verb that means "to advance"?
Precede
Proceed
"Proceed" is a verb that means "to advance." It is often confused with "precede."

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Which word is a noun that means "a fundamental truth"?
Principal
Principle
"Principle" is a noun that means "a fundamental truth." It is often confused with the word "principal."

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Which word is a noun that means "a piece of land designated for a specific purpose"?
Sight
Site
"Site" is a noun that means "a piece of land designated for a specific purpose." It is often confused with the word "sight."

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